Wizards of the Coast is suing Cryptozoic and Hex Entertainment over an alleged IP infringement of the Magic: The Gathering IP.
The story first surfaced earlier this month when documents filed with the Seattle district court were published online. Wizards of the Coast accused Cryptozoic and Hex of, "blatant and willful misappropriation and infringement of some of Wizards' most valuable intellectual property assets" - specifically the Magic: The Gathering trading card game and its trading cards.
The game in question is the MMO trading card game Hex: Shards of Fate, which was created by a team that included veterans from the World of Warcraft's card game. The public responded to the concept with great enthusiasm, pledging almost $2.3 million through Kickstarter in June last year.
The broad case outlined in the document accuses Hex of copying, "the look and feel, the ornamental aspects, and the pleasing and ornamental layout of the functional features of Magic trading cards.
"As a small company, the daunting task of defending ourselves from the bullying of a much larger corporation is difficult"
"Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment have, further, implemented those copied playing cards in promulgation of a game that substantially duplicates the mechanics, plot, actions and elements of Magic, often retaining the same name for actions within the game play.
"Moreover, Cryptozoic's willful intent to trade off of Wizards' intellectual property and to create a false association between Hex and Magic is evident by the fact that it chose to copy the distinctive Magic playing pieces."
Today, Cryptozoic published a statement on its website - spotted by Game Informer - stating that it saw "no merit" to the accusations levelled by Wizards of the Coast. Indeed, Cryptozoic suggests that the suit is an example of a large company using IP law to, "snuff out fair competition."
"HEX: Shards of Fate is a digital only MMO-[Trading Card Game] that attempts to innovate what a digital trading card game can be," the statement read. "Its digital only nature allows it to push the boundaries in ways a traditional paper TCG never could. As a small company, the daunting task of defending ourselves from the bullying of a much larger corporation is difficult, but we are committed to Hex: Shards of Fate and ultimately we will prevail.
"We respect intellectual property rights, but the right to make a TCG is not exclusive to [Wizards of the Coast]. Many TCGs can, and do, coexist consistent with any IP rights WOTC might have."