The Candy Crush Saga was quite the trend back in 2012. After its release in April of that year, the game quickly gained popularity and had more than 4 million players within a matter of weeks. But did you know King Digital Entertainment stole the idea for the game from Runsome Apps?
Candy Crush is a complete copy of Candy Swipe. Albert Ransom, the founder of Runsome Apps, developed the game in 2010, 2 years before King Digital Entertainment. He made the game for his late mother, who passed away from Leukemia.
Did King Digital Entertainment Really Resort to Trademark Trickery?
According to reports, the King Digital Entertainment company was on the hot seat after being accused of stealing ideas and attempting to cancel an independent developer’s existing trademark.
In 2013, the company hit headlines after trademarking the word Candy, cloning ScamperGhost, and trying to stop Stoic Studio from filing a trademark for their game The Banner Saga.
It turns out this Maltese video game developer was not ready to step out of the limelight when another issue sparked regarding Albert Ransom’s claim. Ranson accused the company of canceling his trademark for the game CandySwipe which he had developed in 2010. They were also not too shy to copy his idea.
King’s Candy Crush Saga was incredibly successful, but they launched their game two years after Ransom released his. Ransom details the similarities between the two games and how the two would be confused for one another. King then tried to strengthen their position by purchasing a game called Candy Crusher, which isn’t remotely close to either of the games but predates CandySwipe by six years.
Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don’t have the right to use my own game’s name. You are able to do this because only within the last month you purchased the rights to a game named Candy Crusher which is nothing like CandySwipe or even Candy Crush Saga.Albert Ransom, Founder of Runsome Apps Inc
Ransom went on to publish an open letter to his ruthless competitor. (Source: Game Reactor)
What Was in Albert Ransom’s Letter?
Ransom worked hard on making games as an independent developer. He attributes his success to his mother, who passed away from Leukemia—saying that she inspired him to make CandySwipe.
Open letter to King.com who wants to cancel the registration of the CandySwipe trademark.
Congratulations! You win! I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of Leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games. In fact, if you beat the full version of the android game, you will still get the message saying “…the game was made in memory of my mother, Layla…” I created this game for warmhearted people like her and to help support my family, wife and two boys 10 and 4. Two years after I released CandySwipe, you released Candy Crush Saga on mobile; the app icon, candy pieces, and even the rewarding, “Sweet!” are nearly identical. So much so, that I have hundreds of instances of actual confusion from users who think CandySwipe is Candy Crush Saga, or that CandySwipe is a Candy Crush Saga knockoff. So when you attempted to register your trademark in 2012, I opposed it for “likelihood of confusion” (which is within my legal right) given I filed for my registered trademark back in 2010 (two years before Candy Crush Saga existed). Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don’t have the right to use my own game’s name. You are able to do this because only within the last month you purchased the rights to a game named Candy Crusher (which is nothing like CandySwipe or even Candy Crush Saga). Good for you, you win. I hope you’re happy taking the food out of my family’s mouth when CandySwipe clearly existed well before Candy Crush Saga.
I have spent over three years working on this game as an independent app developer. I learned how to code on my own after my mother passed and CandySwipe was my first and most successful game; it’s my livelihood, and you are now attempting to take that away from me. You have taken away the possibility of CandySwipe blossoming into what it has the potential of becoming. I have been quiet, not to exploit the situation, hoping that both sides could agree on a peaceful resolution. However, your move to buy a trademark for the sole purpose of getting away with infringing on the CandySwipe trademark and goodwill just sickens me.
This also contradicts your recent quote by Riccardo in “An open letter on intellectual property” posted on your website which states, “We believe in a thriving game development community, and believe that good game developers – both small and large – have every right to protect the hard work they do and the games they create.”
I myself was only trying to protect my hard work.
I wanted to take this moment to write you this letter so that you know who I am. Because I now know exactly what you are. Congratulations on your success!
President (Founder), Runsome Apps Inc.
(Source: Game Reactor)