Can’t Do That, ‘Saga’ Games Creator Says

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The creator of popular Facebook “Saga” games claims in court that a competitor brazenly cloned its games and is selling them for profit. sued 6Waves LLC, in Federal Court.
     King claims it “has spent countless hours and millions of dollars creating the most compelling, fun and successful social and mobile games in the world. As a result of King’s huge creative investment, over 225 million people now enjoy its games worldwide, playing more than 1 billion times a day. King is the indisputable market leader in social and mobile gaming with its wildly popular line of ‘Saga’ games, with Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, and Bubble Witch Saga leading the way.”
     Alas! “Rather than make its own creative investment, 6Waves is free-riding on King’s by blatantly cloning two of its most popular games -Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga,” King says in the complaint.
     King says it released its “Pet Rescue Saga” on Facebook in October 2012.
     “It quickly became one of the web’s most popular social games, now ranking as the second most played game on Facebook, behind only King’s Candy Crush Saga,” the complaint states. “In June 2013, a mobile version of Pet Rescue Saga was released on both iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) devices. It has proved highly popular on those platforms as well – ranking in the top five for worldwide downloads on iOS devices and the top ten for Android in July 2013.
     King released its similar game, “Farm Heroes Saga,” in April this year.
     It claims 6Waves cloned both games.
     “6Waves’ Farm Epic is an unmistakable copy of King’s Farm Heroes Saga,” the complaint states. “Farm Epic deliberately mimics the theme, look and feel, game progression, game interface, map, graphics, and numerous other specific protectable elements of the game as detailed further below.
     “Likewise, 6Waves’ Treasure Epic is a blatant copy of King’s Pet Rescue Saga. Treasure Epic copies, nearly identically, the look and feel, game progression, game interface, map, text, graphics, and numerous other specific protectable elements of the game as detailed further below.
     “Such copying is not new to 6Waves. Indeed, cloning and free riding off successful games by churning out ‘fast follow’ games appears to be 6Waves’ business model. In early 2012, 6Waves was sued for infringing Spry Fox, LLC’s copyright in the game Triple Town with a highly similar clone called Yeti Town. … Spry Fox created the Triple Town game, originally releasing it for Amazon’s Kindle line of devices. After deciding to expand to Facebook and iOS, Spry Fox contacted 6Waves about aiding in publishing the game, with both parties executing a non-disclosure agreement. But instead of working with Spry Fox to adapt Triple Town for other platforms, 6Waves cloned it and released its own competing version called Yeti Town.” (Citation to lawsuit omitted.)
     King’s lawsuit continues: “6Waves’ moved to dismiss that action, claiming that (while its game was undeniably a clone of Triple Town), it did not actually copy protectable expression. The Court disagreed and denied that motion, holding that the complaint pleaded sufficient facts to conclude that 6Waves had indeed infringed Spry Fox’s copyright. Shortly thereafter, 6Waves settled that case. And while the terms of the settlement were confidential, the parties did announce that 6Waves assigned all intellectual property in the Yeti Town game to Spry Fox.
     “6Waves’ copying here is even more extensive than it was in the Spry Fox case, confirming the willfulness of 6Wave’s conduct.”
     King seeks a restraining order and injunction and damages for copyright infringement.
     It is represented by Jennifer Lloyd Kelly, with Fenwick and West, in San Francisco.

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