Indie dev claims Candy Crush Saga publisher King copied its game

Indie developer Stolen Goose has leveled a public complaint against Candy Crush Saga publisher King.com, alleging that the casual games company deliberately cloned its game after a licensing deal fell through.

According to developer Matthew Cox, Stolen Goose pitched its enemy-avoiding game Scamperghost to King in 2009 but later backed out after striking a more lucrative licensing deal with a rival online games portal. King responded by publishing a clone of Scamperghost, doubling down on its similarity to Namco's Pac-Man by giving it the new title Pac-Avoid.

King claimed that it was looking into licensing similar games when the Scamperghost deal fell through, but Stolen Goose alleges that this turn of events was more than coincidence. Speaking with Pac-Avoid's developer, Stolen Goose learned that King ordered another indie studio to specifically clone Scamperghost, citing a nonexistent breach of contract as justification. According to Stolen Goose's report, the developer was additionally requested to finish its clone before Scamperghost could hit the market.

King trademarked the word "candy" this week in a bid to curb mobile clones of its hit Candy Crush Saga, and recently targeted The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studio over its use of the word "saga."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.