Wizards Of The Coast Is Suing Someone For Cloning Magic: The Gathering

Wizards Of The Coast Is Suing Someone For Cloning Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment alleging that the companies' online card game Hex: Shards of Fate is a Magic clone.

Here's the Wizards of the Coast statement, which was posted on the company's website today:

Today Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and its alter ego, Hex Entertainment, LLC (collectively, "Cryptozoic"), for willful infringement of intellectual property rights.

Cryptozoic develops and publishes the digital trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, and its digital expressions, Magic Online® and the Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers® franchise.

"Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property" said Barbara Finigan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hasbro. "We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter."

The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement.

We've reached out to Wizards of the Coast, Cryptozoic and Hex Entertainment for comment. We'll update the story once we hear back.


Comments

    I'm a Hex kickstarter backer, be interested to see what is going to happen here, hope they don't shut it down. Mind you, it pretty much feels exactly like MTG to me.

      Are the rules just exactly the same or what?

        I was wondering that too so I looked up the Kickstarter, which has this instructional video.

        There are some very minor things but mostly it looks exactly like M:tG. It even has the stack and the clunky "pass priority" thing that many early (not so reputable) online clients for M:tG used.

        Some of the cards in that video have direct M:tG equivalents.

        I think this will come down to just how much of M:tG counts as intellectual property that can be protected. I've seen quite a few elements of M:tG in other games, I've just never seen so many together at the same time.

          Or it'll come down to big company with expensive lawyers going after little company that needed crowd funding just to develop their game.
          I don't see it ending well for Cryptozoic.

            Cryptozoic is fairly large. They put out multiple licensed board games a year and until Hearthstone came out, they had the license for the Warcraft TCG (I assume losing that license was the genesis for this).

            Admittedly, Hasbro is pretty much as big as it gets in this industry.

    Has all the same elements, the card and mana colours, minions, blocking mechanics, tapping etc etc
    Point of differentiation is supposed to be a PvE component, but that's not even in yet.

    Magic The Gathering has been a big part of the TCG/CCG world for like 20 years, of course it's going to be the game that everyone uses as a base to build a game from. Hell, if WOTC wins, then you might as well close down every card game out there besides Magic.

      I'll have to agree on this one here, even the pokemon tcg takes heavily from magic.

        I think that was also under the "Wizards of the Coast" umbrella though

          Media Factory created the game in Japan. Western localization was distributed by WotC before Nintendo moved it internally in 2003.

        Not just Pokemon. Name a card game and I can guarantee it'll have some mechanic that is found in Magic.

          Android: Netrunner, Dominion and Race for the Galaxy.

            Netrunner is actually the original intellectual property of WotC (of Richard Garfield himself no less), and thus it is being licensed from WotC by FFG.

    This is just an attempt to bleed Cryptozoic with lawyer fees because WotC are spiteful babies

    Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

    I'd be really interested to know what patent infringement they are referring to. I was under impression their patent expired back in 2009. Design patents are suppose to be for 14 years.

    Not surprised they are worried about digital card games. Their magic online client is really bad. People would love to have something better to play on.

    Yep, pretty much is a clone.

    One that wouldnt need to exist if the Magic the Gathering Online system was updated and made more affordable.

    Here's the documents about the case: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224144304/Wizards-of-the-Coast-v-Cryptozoic-Entertainment-et-al

    It is a "They copied us completely" case, and WotC are completely in the right. The examples outlined in the document above show how much they copied; which is pretty much everything

      I disagree that they are in the right legally; US copyright law does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game.

      Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

        while copyright infringement merely protects expression and not form, patent infringement is a different story and this clearly infringes WoC's patents. Also I didn't read through it all but i think there is a passing off claim as well.

    I was very surprised when I saw Hex existing and WotC not making a fuss, because it really, really is a clone. There are even cards with exactly the same design down to the "mana" cost, with but the most cosmetic changes. I thought that either they didn't care or there was no legal floor to start a suit, but now I realise that they were just waiting until the product was almost ready for launch to hit them really hard.

    It's a pity. Those guys had really good ideas to modernise and make Magic a more flexible and stable online game that took advantage of being virtual as opposed to just a copy of the paper version. In an ideal world, they would be working for WotC, making Magic better. In reality, they'll most likely be flattened by Hasbro's lawyers.

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