King removes Pac-Avoid from its website, states it does not “clone other people’s games”

Friday, 24th January 2014 20:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Candy Crush developer King has denied it cloned the flash game Scamperghost with the release of Pac-Avoid, but has nonetheless taken the game off its website.

In a statement the firm said it does not clone other people’s game, and that IP should be firmly protected.

“King does not clone other peoples’ games,” the firm said. “King believes that IP – both our own IP and that of others – is important and should be properly protected. Like any prudent company, we take all appropriate steps to protect our IP in a sensible and fair way. At the same time, we are respectful of the rights and IP of other developers.

“Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP. However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game – which was coded by a third-party developer 5 years ago – has been taken down.”

The cloning accusation which we reported last night, came from Scamperghost creator Matthew Cox, who stated that cloning is rampant in Flash games, and that he harbors no ill-will towards King for it.

However, he did point out some legitimate similarities and the fact it partially copies Namco’s Pac-Man IP.

“I don’t really care that much that copied our game,” he told RPS. “I have no interest or goal whatsoever of limiting other people’s ability to create whatever they want. I only resurfaced this in response to the actions King is taking to limit the innovation of others. King’s treatment of our intellectual property combined with their partial use of NAMCO’s trademark Pac(man) in their copied game shows extreme hypocrisy.

“They’re in the process of trademarking a common word — “Candy” — and have already taken action against other apps like Candy Slots, for example. By trademarking the word “Candy” they limit all of our freedom whether we’re big or small… You can’t make a Candy game. I can’t make a candy game. Not even great candy empires like Hershey, Ferrara, or Jelly Belly can make candy games.”

Meanwhile, the developer who create Pac-Avoid for King, has confirmed the studio he worked for was “asked to replicate” Scamperghost. The developer cities the fact they were “duped” into it by King’s Lars Jörnow who told the studio the original developers backed out of a contract and the game needed finished. There’s more on this over at Eurogamer.

King has been in the news this week almost daily due to its Candy and Saga trademark registrations. The later trademark has also had a negative effect on The Banner Saga, which Kin’s lawyers issued a warning to.

US trademark law states that any company using a trademarked word or phrase needs to contacted by the holder and the contact logged or else it runs the risk of losing the trademark altogether.




  1. Dragon

    Hypocrisy. Nothing else.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. GrimRita

    So by removing it, they are trying to reshape history? Bunch of tossers. I think the Banner Saga guys should take to crowd funding to help defend themselves – I won’t be the only one throwing a few quid at them to help them beat the dumbest decision in modern history

    #2 11 months ago
  3. POOhead

    king deserve the shit for copying the other companys game but they dont deserve shit for the trademark name, seriously im glad they did it, it doesnt take an idiot to search up anything on istore, play store or facebook to see all the poor copys of the game, if there was away to trademark it on those stores or other stores that the game is on, would of been better

    #3 11 months ago
  4. thegrimmling

    Someone needs to make a game that is a stack three puzzle game call call it “Salty Smash Chronicles” or “Sour Amore Legend”.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. MrWaffles

    Fuck and their lying team of PR drones.

    Before we launch any game, we do a
    thorough search of other games in the

    #5 11 months ago
  6. The_Red

    Our game is not a clone of “other people’s game”. It is not even our game. See? Nothing here. It was never EVER here (shhh… quick. Empty the recycle bin).

    #6 11 months ago
  7. TheWulf

    Uh huh. They care about IP, sure, which is why they’re going after stuff that existed long before their games ever did. That makes sense.

    They’re just a bunch of exploitative, suit-encrusted slimeballs, and I called it from day one.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. TheWulf


    There’s a difference between enforcing the right to keep what you’ve built and just patent/trademark trolling. The former goes after only games which actually are clones of your titles, whereas the latter decides it’d be fun to pick on small indies who have nothing to do with your games.

    You think The Banner Saga is the only game that they went after that’s not even remotely like any of their games? I think you need to do some more research into the matter.

    Yes, I think that any company deserves the right to protect themselves from clones. I supported the Super Crate Box dev when they went after obvious clones that were created AFTER their game was released. King is just going after anything that has ‘Candy’ or ‘Saga’ in it.

    You know why?

    They’re building a legal precedent by going after indies who can’t afford the legal fees. Why would they be doing that? So that they can tackle bigger companies who can afford settlements. They’re doing this to make money in the most unfair and borderline illegal way possible. This has nothing to do with their IP, and everything to do with making a quick buck in the slimiest, most underhanded way possible.

    And even their IPs… Candy Crush Saga is just a bad rip-off of Bejewelled which uses careful player conditioning to sell IAP. Do you know what it does? To someone as insightful, self aware, and versed in psychology as I am, it’s obvious. They increase the difficulty in such a way that you feel skilled at first, but eventually you feel like you need a ‘little help,’ so you turn to the IAP store for it. Then you need ‘a little more help,’ and then ‘a little more.’

    There are weak-willed, unaware people in this world who don’t even have the insight to question what’s going on there. They didn’t create a skill-based game of Bejewelled — no, they created a Bejewelled clone that has the illusion of being skill-based.

    And their drone-like, potato-brained fans don’t even realise it.

    It infuriates me that people are this stupid.

    #8 11 months ago

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