When Magic: The Gathering types Wizards of the Coast sued Cryptozoic the other day, they didn’t mince words. In Hex, they said, Cryptozoic had produced a “nearly identical copy of Magic” – one that not only mimicked the “look and feel” of their venerable card game, but also its specific mechanics and flow.
Cryptozoic don’t see it that way. They’ve condemned the Wizards’ lawsuit as “frivolous legal action”.
“As a small company, the daunting task of defending ourselves from the bullying of a much larger corporation is difficult,” wrote the developers. “But we are committed to HEX: Shards of Fate and ultimately we will prevail.”
In their statement, Cryptozoic explained that they take all pending litigation seriously – but didn’t find “any merit” in Wizards of the Coasts’ allegations.
“We do not expect this frivolous legal action to impact our efforts to deliver a compelling and entertaining game experience to our customers,” they said.
Cryptozoic argue that Hex’s digital-only development has fundamentally distinguished it from adapted tabletop CCGs like Magic.
“We respect intellectual property rights, but the right to make a TCG is not exclusive to WOTC,” they added. “Many TCGs can, and do, coexist consistent with any IP rights WOTC might have.
“While IP rights are important, so is fair competition. WOTC cannot snuff out fair competition with frivolous infringement assertions.”
Wizards of the Coast are asking for a “permanent injunction”, which would prevent Cryptozoic from continuing to make use of the mechanics, lore and artwork the company believes infringe on their IP.
They’re also hoping to recover the money Cryptozoic have made from Hex to date – which they reckon exceeds $500,000.
We’re just hoping these Wizards don’t eviscerate the truly brilliant computer CCG Hex has become. How about you?