Jaffe: Sony Lawyers Should Start Sending Out Some Letters

On his blog, David Jaffe writes that similarities between Microsoft's upcoming Scrap Metal and Sony's Twisted Metal, as well as the film title "War of the Gods," should both rate "a sternly worded legal letter," from Sony's lawyer-mans.

Jaffe, the designer who directed both Twisted Metal and God of War emphasises that he doesn't own either and has no standing to sue anyone. And in an update to quell the reaction to his post, he insists he's not angry or that he hates either the game or the movie in question. But the genie's out of the bottle. This is what he wrote.

[I] f I owned the rights to TWISTED METAL and GOD OF WAR, I sure as hell would at the least send a sternly worded legal letter.

Heck, I'd send two legal letters if it were me.

I mean, first Microsoft puts out a car combat game and calls it SCRAP METAL?

Hey, looks like a great game! Right up my alley! Day one purchase for me. But come on guys, isn't that just a little too close to Sony's own car combat game TWISTED METAL?

And then Sony has GOD OF WAR, a game and potential movie about mortals fighting ancient Greek Gods. And then this movie gets announced called WAR OF THE GODS about- yep!- mortals fighting ancient Greek Gods.

Jaffe points out that he's not an expert on copyright law and neither am I or anyone who reads his blog. It strikes me that if Sony's ever going to sue Microsoft over a video game-related matter, it's gonna have to be for something really blatant, and probably a lot bigger than a downloadable game.

George Lucas Gonna Sue Somebody [DavidJaffe.biz]


Comments

    this guy is being silly. Scrap metal is top down which makes it totally different. War of the Gods? Mortals fighting GODS? That idea has been around forEVER.

    Nobody owns the idea of some dudes fighting greek gods, that stuff is old

    Im a big fan of Twisted Metal so sorry Jaffe but I dont see why it is illegal for microsoft to make there own version if its completely different. Its probarbly a good thing. Atleast I will finally get my fix of car combat (if its not over head view like ive seen in some early screens). Its been 9 years since a proper console iteration; Black. Head On doesnt count in my books.

    they're all stealing off DIPRIP, which is a source mod. SO, technically valve should be the one sueing both microsoft and sony. PS. i'm not being entirely serious.

    "And then Sony has GOD OF WAR, a game and potential movie about mortals fighting ancient Greek Gods. And then this movie gets announced called WAR OF THE GODS about- yep!- mortals fighting ancient Greek Gods."

    That's... a joke, right? Right? He doesn't really think that, does he?!?

      Perhaps the Greek Governement should sue Jaffre for bastardising Greek Mythology....

      Might shut the idiot up.

    Lame!

    Some people need to occupy themselves a bit more when not working.

    I guess it all comes down to WHO CARES? cause 99% of people don't.

    It's not about actual similarity, it's about potential customer confusion. If I've heard about an awesome car combat game, "Something-or-Other Metal," and I see Twisted Metal for the XBox on the shelf (or online, or wherever), I might have bought the game based on the reputation of Sony and Jaffe, which Microsoft doesn't deserve (because they have their own, not because I'm saying they're better or worse).

    I'm a law student and all I can say is this-

    Copyright doesn't exist over 'ideas' but the expression of those ideas.

    So the general idea/theme might be the same, but if the stories, gameplay etc. are different enough then Sony can't sue.

    cry more Jaffe

    Please Jaffe, I love you because you created Kratos and Grasshopper. However your respect points are steadily declining, starting from your appearance at The Tester and then this comment.

    *sigh*

    Isn't war of the gods a doco about using religion as a political weapon?

    I care imagine in the future if the small kiddies remember a game called scrap metal ? over twisted metal .. AN ABSOLUTE OUTRAGE!!! .... I wouldn't .. wouldn't ... know what to do with myself ... .. . .

    I think its less to do with copyright law, and more to do with trademark law. Its not so much that Sony own the rights to the idea of mortals fight greek gods, or car combat games, its more that they have a well known brand called Twisted Metal, and if another game, which has a similar premise, also names itself a similar way, it could ride off the success of the Twisted Metal brand.

    Its like if I made my own line of corn chips, nobody can stop me doing that, the idea of a corn chip is not owned by anyone. But I'm sure if I called my corn chips Boritos, then I would have problems.

      Hit the nail on the head Warren. I personally don't have a problem with Microsoft making their own versions of succesful IP's from Sony, because I don't have a PS and this means it opens up my gaming options, although I would understand if Sony had issues with it. But I don't understand why everyone's comments are so clueless, it's blatantly obvious that both games are ripped - again, I have no issues with this though.

    i do think it is kinda silly...BUT in hindsight you should see some of MS's lawsuits as well, theyre kinda silly too

    This just in, Homer has filed lawsuit against David Jaffe for infringing on his 3,500 year old epic poem The Iliad, in which mortal greeks battle gods one-on-one and in armies.

    Sigh.

    Funny I remember when Sony pictures released a movie about a war between Vampires and Werewolves and people said it wasn't a rip off of White Wolf and their World of Darkness setting. And I'm pretty sure Underworld even shared the name of a source book for the game.

    That being said I do love me some Car Combat games. Carnage on the C64 gave me a Taste not to mention Road Blaster (arcade) if I'm getting the names right.

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