If you thought the whole King/Candy Crush Saga vs. Stoic Studio/The Banner Saga debacle was bad, apparently the claim King has made against Stoic created more issues than we initially thought.
If you missed our initial follow up report, the developer of Candy Crush Saga, King, has filed a claim against Stoic Studio for their game series, The Banner Saga. Despite King saying that their claim is purely to stop real copycats from having more grounds to argue in the future, it seems their legal team is actually fighting The Banner Saga in the very real sense.
Now that The Banner Saga has launched to critical acclaim, the team is already gearing up for a sequel. In light of this whole trademark debacle, it seems that won’t be possible, and you’ll find out why in a minute. In an interview with Polygon, Stoic Studio’s Alex Thomas had this to say regarding the situation with their Banner Saga sequel:
“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.
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.”
This is very interesting considering the statement King previously made, which we described in our previous report, linked above. You can find the pertinent information from their statement below:
“We do not have any concerns that Banner Saga is trying [to] build on our brand of our content. 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 and rights and causes player confusion. If we had not opposed Banner Saga’s trademark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of ‘Saga’ was legitimate.”
So things are definitely getting really ugly. Unless King removes their claim against Stoic Studio and their right to the name The Banner Saga, we might not be getting a sequel to the game, ever. What do you guys think – is this completely ridiculous?