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Candy Crush dev King pulls Pac-Avoid following copycat accusation


King has pulled Pac-Avoid, the game indie developer Stolen Goose recently accused the Candy Crush Saga developer of cloning. Stolen Goose alleged that Epic Shadow-developed Pac-Avoid was a direct clone of its own 2009 game, Scamperghost, which the developer pitched to King before backing out of the deal to bring the game to rival online game portal Max Games.

"The details of the situation are complex, but the bottom line is that we should never have published Pac-Avoid," King CEO and Co-Founder Riccardo Zacconi wrote on the company's website. "We have taken the game down from our site, and we apologise for having published it in the first place."

Zacconi added that this "unfortunate situation is an exception to the rule," stressing that the developer "does not clone games, and we do not want anyone cloning our games." He noted that King performs "a thorough search" of existing games and reviews trademark filings to avoid infringement. Former Epic Shadow developer Matt Porter responded to King's retraction of the game, calling King's claimed thorough search of games in the marketplace "an obvious lie."

"Our only additional term to the deal, was that the Epic Shadow branding not be placed in the game, as we found the entire project to be sketchy and we wanted nothing to do with it post-release," Porter wrote.

This is the latest in King's controversial saga, in which it trademarked the word "candy" in order to deny mobile clones of Candy Crush Saga. King also set its sights on The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studio, opposing its application for "Banner Saga." Zacconi said King will not enforce the use of its trademarked word "saga" on Stoic Studios, but opposed the application to "preserve our own ability to protect our own games."

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