An indie developer has lashed out at Candy Crush publisher King for its recent aggressive trademark legislation.
Mathew Cox of indie developer Stolen Goose accuses the firm of "double standards", alleging that King itself infringed on trademarks and copyrights when it cloned a Stolen Goose game in 2009.
The company behind Candy Crush Saga recently successfully registered the word 'Candy' as a trademark, and begun asking indie developers to remove their games from the iOS App Store if they feature the word in the title.
Later the firm filed another trademark dispute, this time aimed at The Banner Saga for use of the word 'Saga'.
"It's ironic that King.com is concerned about intellectual property when they so blatantly copied our game Scamperghost with their game 'Pac-Avoid' in late 2009," said Cox (comparison shots above).
He goes on to explain that Stolen Goose had backed out of publishing negotiations with King for Scamperghost, at which point he claims King used a separate developer, EpicShadow, to "clone" the game.
Cox posted an email allegedly from King exec Lars Jornow who argued at the time that "the flash world is filled of similar-looking games" and the firm simply "sponsored a similar game".
But Cox goes on to claim that a member of EpicShadow had openly admitted to being instructed to clone Scamperghost by Jornow, saying King commissioned the dev to "clone the game very quickly, and even wanted to beat the release of the original game".
"No 'contract' was ever signed, this was Lars/King justifying their actions to a small indie developer that might otherwise have turned down the request to copy our game," said Cox.
"Scamperghost isn't the most original game in the world. It's obviously inspired by Pac-Man but we at least took it in an original direction by making it a mouse avoider with no walls," he said.
"King.com, however, showed no respect for other people's intellectual property when they made a direct, blatant clone of Scamperghost. Now they've trademarked 'Candy' and are using their massive legal power against other small competing developers."