Vector Tanks and Vector Tanks Extreme, two iOS games from Black Powder Media, have been pulled from the App Store after receiving a copyright-infringement claim from Atari. "Atari appears to be paving the way for a reissuing of their classics by putting the squeeze on hundreds of apps!" Black Powder Media's Kickstarter page reads. "Anything that has even a passing resemblance to an Atari classic has been issued a copyright infringement claim."
Atari recently released updated versions of Breakout and Asteroids, and has had an Atari arcade app for some time. And a new Battlezone isn't a ludicrous thought, which is one reason Vector Tanks programmer Peter Hirschberg previously tried to secure Atari's permission to make a game inspired by Battlezone. Atari never responded, Hirschberg told Edge. "Now this," he said. "It's very depressing."
When asked for comment, Atari released the following statement to Joystiq:
"For companies like Atari, our intellectual property portfolio is our most valued asset. While we have great respect for the indie developer community and greatly appreciate the enthusiasm that they have for our renowned properties, we need to vigorously protect our intellectual property and ensure that it is represented in highly innovative games. We have been actively engaging with numerous established and up and coming developers to help us re-imagine our iconic franchises, and outside app developers have already helped us produce two top 10 mobile game successes in Asteroids: Gunner and Breakout: Boost. We look forward to further developing strong relationships with the indie app development community through additional games that we will be releasing in the future."Black Powder Media is now working on The Visceral Adventures of Vic Vector, a game that it believes "cannot fall under the Atari claw."