This week in ridiculousness, King Ltd., makers of the super-popular Candy Crush Saga mobile and Facebook title, somehow got their trademark application accepted and now they own the video game and apparel rights to the word “candy.” They immediately began working with Apple to take down similarly named “copycat” apps from iTunes as they promised only to use their new found legal power for good.
Except they didn’t, at least from a PR standpoint. The mammoth money making app, which has amassed over half a billion downloads in its lifetime since launching in 2012, is quickly earning a bad name, the likes of which can only be compared to Zynga – who earned a very bad reputation for their infamous copying of game design elements in their own titles. So, why some developers worry about their titles or in some cases, the future of their own franchises (see: The Banner Saga nonsense), some devs are attempting to prove a point and make light of the situation.
Let’s take a moment away from thinking about whether or no a game dev should be able to trademark a common word such as “saga” or “candy” for a moment, and talk about the Candy Jam game jam.
Game jams, limited-time developer sessions/tournaments that are often themed, have grown significantly in popularity in recent years thanks to the mainstream appeal and potential of indie games and developers. Even super famous celeb debs such as Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has participated in a few – releasing games including zombie shooter Shambles.
The Candy Jam, an idea stemmed from the King Ltd. “Candy” controversy, was put together by two developers (Cariboo and uuav) and it asks that interested participants craft games that involve, you guessed it, candies. Developers have until February 3, 2014 to participate.
The site (linked just above) for the hilariously themed Game Jam (or depressingly named, all things considered) outlines the reasoning and roles for the session:
BECAUSE TRADEMARKING COMMON WORDS IS RIDICULOUS AND BECAUSE IT GIVES US AN OCCASION TO MAKE ANOTHER GAMEJAM 😀
MAKE A GAME INVOLVING CANDIES
CONSIDER USING THE WORD “CANDY” SEVERAL TIMES, ALSO “SCROLL”, “MEMORY”, “SAGA”, “APPLE” AND “EDGE” MIGHT GIVE BONUS POINTS
How cool is that? Head to the official site if you have a game to submit. It doesn’t have to be good. Or original for that matter. You can even borrow other game ideas like King did when making a game just like Bejeweled.
The hashtag #CandyJam has become a place of hilarity and creativity on Twitter as well so enjoy it while it lasts. 2014 is off to a fun start despite the limited amount of game releases this month.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Sources: The Escapist