Game developer Junkyard Sam is accusing King.com of copying its Scamperghost game from a few years ago.
In 2009, Junkyard Sam was in talks with King VP of Mobile Games Lars Jörnow about licensing his Scamperghost game, Matthew Cox writes on Junkyard Sam. But when MaxGames.com made a better offer, Cox and his co-developer decided to turn down King.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
King made a direct clone of Scamperghost called Pac-Avoid, Cox says, and even tried to launch the game before Junkyard Sam released Scamperghost.
“We only got ours out sooner because a friend close with the company contacted us privately to warn us in advance,” Cox writes.
Cox says King contacted a developer at Epic Shadow Entertainment to specifically clone Scamperghost.
Here’s the email that Cox says proves his case:
from: Porter [email protected]
date: Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM
subject: Pac Avoid / Scamper Ghost
First off, sorry that we (Andrew and I of EpicShadow) cloned your game for Lars of King.com. I know there’s a ton of rumour as to what happened, so here’s the exact details, you believing them is your decision. Lars approached us one day explaining that you (Stolen Goose) had signed a contract, had been working with him on finishing the deal, and then got a better deal and backed out. As tempting as more cash would be, if contract was signed, douche move. I don’t know if that actually happened, so feel free to clear it up. He asked us to clone the game very quickly, and even wanted to beat the release of the original game.
Prior to receiving that email from the developer behind Pac-Avoid, Jörnow had reached out to Cox to try to explain his thinking behind launching Pac-Avoid. This was, of course, after some game developers expressed outrage on the IndieGamer.com forum.
Meanwhile, King recently trademarked “Candy” and has already sent out some takedown notices. It’s also likely on the verge of an IPO.
Business Insider has reached out to King and will update this story when we hear back.
In the meantime, check out some Scamperghost versus Pac-Avoid screenshots.