Triple Town developer Spry Fox has filed a copyright infringement suit against casual game studio 6Waves Lolapps over its latest release Yeti Town, which Spry Fox claims is a "blatant copy of Triple Town."
Last month, 6Waves Lolapps released Yeti Town as a free app for iOS devices. When asked whether the game was too similar to Spry Fox's Triple Town, 6waves Lolapps chief product officer Arjun Sethi said that taking criticism of this sort was "just part of a natural process."
However, Spry Fox's David Edery revealed today via his personal blog that the company has sued 6Waves Lolapps, citing numerous reasons why he has decided to go ahead with the lawsuit.
His first claim is that Yeti Town is "a nearly perfect copy of Triple Town," with game mechanics, tutorial language, UI elements and the prices of store items all very similar to Spry Fox's game.
He also claims that 6waves was in confidential negotiations with Spry Fox to publish Triple Town on Facebook, and that 6waves was given private access to Triple Town while it was being developed. 6waves then broke off negotiations on the day that Yeti Town was published, he claims.
A personal Facebook message from 6waves' executive director of business development Dan Laughlin, allegedly sent to Edery on the day that Yeti Town launched, is filed as evidence in the court documents, and reads, "I need to back out of any further discussions on Triple Town."
"We've just published a game on iOS that you're not going to like given its similar match-3 style. Wish this wasn't happening, but it is, and there wasn't anything I could do about it, despite my attempts."
Edery says that it was when 6waves' Sethi discussed the issue with Gamasutra, as mentioned previously, that he finally decided to do something about it.
"We are not enthusiastic about the prospect of spending our time in court as opposed to making games," Edery said. "And in general, we believe that only in the most extreme circumstances should a video game developer resort to legal action in order to defend their creative works - the last thing our industry needs is frivolous lawsuits."
"Unfortunately, it is our opinion that 6waves has behaved in a reprehensible and illegal manner, and we can not, in good conscience, ignore it... We believe that there is nothing 'natural' or ethical or legal about 6waves behavior."
He concluded, "What they did was wrong. And if they get away with it, it will simply encourage more publishers to prey on independent game developers like us. We refuse to sit back and let that happen."
[UPDATE: In a statement given to Venturebeat, 6waves Lolapps has stated, "Lolapps is disappointed that David Edery has chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes his claims are factually inaccurate."
"We respect others IP and did nothing to violate any contracts our team had in place. The copyright infringement claims are unjustified."]