Candy Crush Saga dev says it's trying to fend off copycats, not stop The Banner Saga [UPDATE]

Stoic Studios responds; "We won't make a viking saga without the word Saga, and we don't appreciate anyone telling us we can't."

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a representative for The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studios provided the following the statement to Kotaku, which explains why the independent studio plans to fight.

"Two years ago, the three of us at Stoic set out to make an epic viking game: The Banner Saga. We did, and people loved it, so we're making another one. We won't make a viking saga without the word Saga, and we don't appreciate anyone telling us we can't," the representative said. "King.com claims they're not attempting to prevent us from using The Banner Saga, and yet their legal opposition to our trademark filing remains. We're humbled by the outpouring of support and honored to have others stand with us for the right to their own Saga. We just want to make great games."

The original story is below.

King, maker of hit mobile game Candy Crush Saga, has released a statement that aims to explain why they have filed a notice of opposition against the trademark application for Stoic Studios' The Banner Saga. The notice of opposition contends that The Banner Saga is "confusingly and deceptively similar" to Candy Crush Saga.

"King has not and is not trying to stop The Banner Saga from using its name. We do not have any concerns that The Banner Saga is trying build on our brand or our content," a representative for the company told Gamasutra.

Then why file the notice of opposition at all? King says the company is simply trying to defend its position under the terms of trademark law.

"However, like any prudent company, we need to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP, both now and in the future. In this case, that means preserving our ability to enforce our rights in cases where other developers may try to use the Saga mark in a way which infringes our IP rights and causes player confusion," the representative said. "If we had not opposed The Banner Saga’s trademark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of 'Saga' was legitimate."

Earlier this week, King made headlines when it got one step closer to owning the trademark for "Candy" after the United States Patent & Trademark Office approved it for publication. This news drew backlash from those who think a corporation should not be allowed to control a term that is so commonly used. But King says it's out for the trademark only as a means to protect itself from the many clones out there trying to imitate the hit mobile game.

"This is an important issue for King because we already have a series of games where 'Saga' is key to the brand which our players associate with a King game; Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and so on," the statement goes on. "All of these titles have already faced substantive trademark and copyright issues with clones."

Meanwhile, a group of indie game developers have launched an impromptu game jam that lampoons King over its attempts to trademark the word "Candy." Called Candy Jam, the event asks participants to create games that use the words "Candy," Saga," and "Scroll" liberally. Organizers said they created the campaign "because trademarking common words is ridiculous…"

Trademark-based disputes between publishers and games are of course nothing new. Most recently, Elder Scrolls studio Bethesda Softworks launched a lawsuit against Minecraft creator Mojang over its use of the word "Scrolls" in its new strategy card game. This lawsuit was ultimately settled, with the Minecraft makers allowed to keep the Scrolls title, so long as the game was not designed to compete directly with Elder Scrolls.

While that case involved an actual lawsuit, the current situation between King and Stoic is limited to trademark opposition paperwork alone, at least right now.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

300 comments
CatPuncher
CatPuncher

Maddening.. if this was a publicity stunt then it's surely backfired - pleased to hear gamers unite against pedantic nonsense like this.

zyxahn
zyxahn

Nintendo should try again to trademark, it's on like Donkey Kong.  >_<    Blizzard should as a joke make a Warcraft Saga of Candy game or something.  See how they react to that.

Edge15
Edge15

What they should do is start copywriting with a specific structure. For instance, Noun Noun Saga. That could help prevent copy cats from actually getting close to name infringements without these stupid lawsuits. (Or at least inventive copy cat names lol).

hitomo
hitomo

its just a cheap attempt to create some Attention for Candy Crush ... regardless how you react, you only help King creating a buzz

thiagofali
thiagofali

This is what the gaming industry doesn't need... Corporate leeches..... I won't EVER put a single penny on your grubby hands, 'KING'. And I will spread the word on your turf, i.e. Facebook.... Patenting the word 'Candy' and getting away with it? 'MURICA' once again lowering the bar even further.... I am expecting the letter from your lawyers sueing me for using the word CANDY at any time now.. bring it on... GREEDY BASTARDS

radcrab123
radcrab123

#War-on-the-King SPREAD IT TO YOUR FRIENDS

radcrab123
radcrab123

SAGA FOOL SUE  ME I DARE U THINGS LIKE THIS MAKE ME SO ANGRY CANDY CRUSH SUX, KING SUX, THE PATENT SUX, WHOEVER THAT ALLOWS THE PATENT SUX, LIKE WTH YOU KNOW WHAT IM GONNA MAKE A GAME CALLED CANDY SAGA OF STUPIFYED  STUPIDITY AND WHEN THEY TRY TO SUE ME I WILL CALL EA AND TELL EM THAT CANDY LOL SAGA IS COPYING BEJEWELED. EA WILL SUE THEIR STUPID BUMS

Gatchan2
Gatchan2

dicks


trademark that and shove it up your ass

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

Ok, but wtf is candy crush saga? I have never heard of this game until today.

Is it Vikings using candy to crush enemies? Because the first thing I think of when I heard the word saga is viking.

June-GS
June-GS

@Stoic Studios:  Hear, hear.

focuspuller
focuspuller

"a representative for The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studios provided the following the statement to Kotaku"


You guys ever heard of a copy editor?

Rhino_All
Rhino_All

"The Banner Saga is "confusingly and deceptively similar" to Candy Crush Saga" .....WUT?

blackace
blackace

This has to be the stupidest lawsuit I ever seen. They are suing Stoic Studios to set an example for other people who decide to use the word "SAGA" in their title game? The content of Banner Saga is so completely different from Candy Crush, it's not even funny. It's not even in the same genre. Also, the word SAGA has been used and tons of video games, so should other developers sue KING for using SAGA in their Candy Crush Saga game? lol!! No one should be able to trademark hugely popular words like CANDY. Are they stupid or what? I don't believe words should be trademarked at all. I can understand titles and movies (ie The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, etc..), but just certain words is just dumb unless it's a new word someone created like "Sniglets". For people who don't know a "Sniglet" is a word that doesn't appear in the Webster Dictionary, but should. For example: "Musquirt is the watery subtance that come out of a Mustard bottle before the actual mustard." Even Twerk is a new sniglet type would that's not in the dictionary.

In any case, this is just wrong. KING needs to pull that lawsuit. They might even get boycotted for doing something so stupid.

blackace
blackace

This has to be the stupidest lawsuit I ever seen. They are suing Stoic Studios to set an example for other people who decide to use the word "SAGA" in their title game? The content of Banner Saga is so completely different from Candy Crush, it's not even funny. It's not even in the same genre. Also, the word SAGA has been used and tons of video games, so should other developers sue KING for using SAGA in their Candy Crush Saga game? lol!! No one should be able to trademark hugely popular words like CANDY. Are they stupid or what? I don't believe words should be trademarked at all. I can understand titles and movies (ie The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, etc..), but just certain words is just dumb unless it's a new word someone created like "Sniglets". For people who don't know a "Sniglet" is a word that doesn't appear in the Webster Dictionary, but should. For example: "Musquirt is the watery subtance that come out of a Mustard bottle before the actual mustard." Even Twerk is a new sniglet type would that's not in the dictionary.


http://www.amazon.com/Sniglets-Sniglit-Doesnt-Appear-Dictionary/dp/0020125305/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390511381&sr=8-1&keywords=sniglet

In any case, this is just wrong. KING needs to pull that lawsuit. They might even get boycotted for doing something so stupid.



Xristophoros
Xristophoros

just because a greedy, soulless company, has deep pockets does not mean it should be allowed mess around with the law in any way it pleases. unless you yourself have created a word, what gives you the right to claim the rights to one? i considered candy crush saga a fun diversion at one time but now i don't want to support this god forsaken company in any way. the most ironic thing about this is the fact that the candy crush saga is a COPY of bejeweled, which is a COPY of columns form the sega genesis over 20 years ago! WOW, so they put a new skin on the core mechanic which they STOLE. they essentially repacked an old concept that wasn't theirs to begin with and yet they get away with that with no questions asked? rovio looks like a saint next to king.     

xbr85
xbr85

F*** Candy Crush Saga and f*** King. The word "Saga" doesn't belong to you just as "Scrolls" doesn't belong to Bethesda or "Edge" to that copyright troll Tim Langdell. 

What greedy f***s game companies have become....

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

I can't wait until Stoic announces their next game, The Banner FuckKingAndIt'sStupidAssTrademarkBullshit 3.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

"In this case, that means preserving our ability to enforce our rights in cases where other developers may try to use the Saga mark in a way which infringes our IP rights and causes player confusion. ... If we had not opposed The Banner Saga’s trademark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of 'Saga' was legitimate."


I love that King's spokesperson actually admits here that they're aware that Stoic isn't a "real copy cat" and isn't "[using] the Saga mark in a way which infringes [their] IP rights and causes player confusion".  I wonder if this statement could be used against them.

sidzero
sidzero

In response to this, I really would like to see Square Enix sue King, because they've had their Saga series of games going since 1989.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

"Because of this news a lot of people will buy The Banner Saga. Thank you King." -Stoic

kirikou97212
kirikou97212

What has the word "Saga" to do with "Candy Crush" anyways?

Hurvl
Hurvl

King: "We've acted like douches, trying to trademark common words and going after small developers using those common words, because we need it to appear like we're doing something to protect our IP. Otherwise, we might lose the rights to it." Oh, poor them, they're actually *forced* to act in that ridiculous and arrogant fashion, because of how the system works. Hate the system/game, not the players.

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

Who plays this crap? I can understand doing it for free. But people actually give them money to play some cheap, boring, repetitive mobile game. It is amazing how easy it is to separate a fool from their money.

Vojtass
Vojtass

This is one sick, idiotic system. How can you say, that you have right to the one COMMON word!? This is beyond stupid. Fuck you King.com.

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

Maybe you should have thought it a bit more through before you started to name all your games ending with "saga". F*cking idiot(s). And after you realized that "saga" can be used for a lot of things that are grand in scale or a series of events (mass effect saga, witcher saga etc.) you tried to trademark it.

This is childish, crazy, stupid, selfish, arrogant and downright evil behavior. I hope you dig a hole under your self with this public stunt and slowly rot in it.

Triton
Triton

These folks are nuts. I believe I will hit steam after work and support the good guys.

SEEDman_X
SEEDman_X

The Banner Saga is a RPG/Strategy PC game, so HOW the F*** will anyone confused it with a dumb-ass iOS casual/puzzle game?  This is absolutely ridiculous!!  "Saga" is a dictionary word that predates the existence of dictionaries!!  If anything Candy Crush should be sued for cloning Bejeweled!! 

dmfreak
dmfreak

Oh so you're implying that anything with the word "saga" in the end like Unlimited Saga, a game which was released waaay before your game, is plagiarizing your candy crush saga game? Are you even the creator of the word "saga" you imbecile?

Boogy32
Boogy32

I don't play Candy Crush, but isn't it basically a copy of Bejeweled?


Oh the hypocrisy of mankind.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Stop frikin playing these stupid facebook games! Here comes a great title like The Banner Saga and stumbles on s**t like Candy Crush, because they're frikin important now. And when you see your kid playing it, just smack his head against the wall and be happy about it. Psalms 137:9

sirslimyscott
sirslimyscott

Yeah, yeah I suggest that they meet me on the streets for a walk off!

damnyou444
damnyou444

We do not have any concerns that The Banner Saga is trying build on our brand or our content

WTF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

aeterna789
aeterna789

Good thing England has a "Queen" other wise this company might go after the monarchy for using the term "KING".

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

Please behead the fucking idiot who approved the single word trademarks and move on from this nonsense.


EDIT: And while you're at it, kill that crap King for being the new Zinga with their copying others but not wanting to be recopied themselves. Bastards.

offcutter
offcutter

Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga ...........


now sue me.. come on.

Lhomity
Lhomity

I was trying to think of a better word than 'frivolous' to describe this, but the best I could come up with is: "egrgogrogrgkh". In fact, egrgogrogrgkh does pretty accurately describe this situation. This is all a bunch of egrgogrogrgkh-ness.

I hope they get sued by everyone who has ever used the term "Candy" or "Crush", and they all run out of money fighting over ridiculous, pointless and egrgogrogrgkh legal disputes. Look out, King. Iggy Pop and Aaron Carter are coming with the lawyers.

Zerabp
Zerabp

@Grimkillah Probably something to do with the word originating in old norse...

Gatchan2
Gatchan2

@Rhino_All Because they know the non gaming casuals that flock to their crap games are clueless and fickle and can easily drop from playing their games in a heartbeat because they're not loyal they're just into mobile games for the fad and because they have nothing better to do at the time. Those games are throwaway time killers 

wayotwolf
wayotwolf

@sidzero But Square Enix probably didn't try to steroid control patent the word "Saga" meaning they would likely lose in any legal battles.

Gatchan2
Gatchan2

@Xx_DemonSoul_xX Amazingly stupid as it may seem, Candy Crush brings in anywhere from $600,000 to $900,000 a day and about on average, 47,000 new game installs a day..It's literally insane, and in Japan its even worse with the other puzzle game phenom there known as Puzzle & Dragons, which pulls in even more money (and is now climbing on the U.S. mobile phone gaming charts), where on average, the average gamer spends about $64 a month playing it.....



Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@SEEDman_X Okay I don't agree with how they're going about it, but what they're doing does make sense. They're not after Banner Saga or any other non-related games...it's all the cheap ass knock off clones of their (cheap ass knock off clone) games that use the terms so as to have them pop up when those words are searched. Trouble is, they end up having a blanket order that ends up messing with everyone else too.

Gatchan2
Gatchan2

@xsonicchaos Thats the thing: gamers aren't playing these games. The casual non gamers are. And they're too stupid or lazy to care to search for real games. They are just playing Candy Crush because its shoved into their face via word of mouth and because its to kill boredom from time to time when they're on the go.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@Lhomity  

I'm sorry, but you can't use the term "egrgogrogrgkh". I own the trademark to that word.

Gatchan2
Gatchan2

@Carpetfluff @SEEDman_X This is NOT the way to go about things and fuck their greedy paranoia, you realize how much money these guys make? You think Capcom gave a shit about all the fighting game clones in the 90's? No, they were too busy swimming in money to care. These Candy Crush guys make about 20 to 30 million a MONTH