Kung Fu Factory fka Just Games Interactive filed the complaint on Wednesday against Glu Mobile and Kristen Jenner fka Kris Kardashian, alleging direct copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. The lawsuit describes defendant John Does 6 to 10 as “the Kardashians [-] individual members of the Kardashian family and/or their associated staff or entities.”
During its time as Just Games Interactive, Kung Fu Factory developed “Mortal Kombat: Unchained” and “Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.” It has released many mobile games, including “Card King: Dragon Wars” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run,” and console games including “Spartacus Legends” and “Supremacy MMA.”
According to the lawsuit, Brian Siegrest, an agent for the Kardashians and Jenner, told Kung Fu Factory that the reality TV family was interested in pursuing a social or mobile videogame project.
“At the request of Mr. Siegrest, Kung Fu Factory set its experienced and talented videogame development team to work on preparing a proposal for such a project,” Kung Fu says.
The developers conceived in detail how the game might work, who the characters would be and what they would do, what the game play might be like, and how the game could be integrated into social media such as Twitter and Facebook and put on platforms like Android and iOS devices, the complaint states.
Kung Fu Factory drew 2-D art for the game, including “an artistic vision for how Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian would be depicted as characters,” according to the complaint.
It provided a complete proposal to Jenner and the Kardashians in the form of a slide presentation, for which Kung Fu also completed an application for copyright registration.
Kung Fu says it did not get an official word back about the game for several months, except for Siegrest occasionally suggesting that the Kardashians were still considering the project.
“After doing a substantial amount of work on the Kardashian videogame proposal, and then being strung along for months, Kung Fu Factory learned from Ryan Detert, an associate who had worked closely with Brian Siegrest on certain projects including the Kardashian videogame deal, that the Kardashian deal was supposedly ‘dead,'” the complaint states.
But Kung Fu claims that all along, Siegrest and the Kardashians continued to discuss a video game along the lines of what it had proposed.
In June 2014, Glu Mobile released the mobile game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” which Kung Fu says “is strikingly similar” to the copyrighted game it proposed.
The description of the game on Glu Mobile’s website states: “Join Kim Kardashian on a red carpet adventure in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood! Create your own aspiring celebrity and rise to fame and fortune!”
The free-to-play role-playing game has players trying to increase their reputation and become A-List celebrities by gaining fans through acting and modeling jobs, making club appearances, and going on dates.
Players can also purchase items using real money.
The game generated $1.6 million in its first five days of release and $43.4 million by the end of its first quarter, according to Glu Mobile.
“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” was named one of Apple’s “App Store Best of 2014” and was included on Facebook’s list of best new games in 2014. It also made it onto Google’s list of top games of 2014 in the adventure category and Gamezebo’s list of best iPhone games of 2014.
Kung Fu Factory claims that the copyright violations are obvious. “However, Kris Jenner and the Kardashians have not paid Kung Fu Factory for these ideas at all,” according to the complaint.
Kung Fu Factory seeks at least $10 million in damages for direct and contributory copyright infringement and breach of implied contract.
It is represented by Gerard Fox, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Glu Mobile spokesman Jason Enriquez called the complaint ” completely frivolous.”
“We were never contacted, or even heard of, the plaintiff before they filed this complaint,” Enriquez said in an email. “Glu independently created ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ and we will defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.”
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