Publisher wants classic IP reborn through indie partnerships

Atari: We need to defend our IP

Longstanding publisher Atari has effectively confirmed that it has taken action to block iOS games that apparently infringe on copyright.

Developers building App Store games with a significant resemblance to classic Atari games could face legal threats, according to one indie studio that claims to have already been handed legal papers.

A company blog post by Black Powder Media claims that Vector Tanks and Vector Tanks Extreme are no longer available on Apple devices because of a dispute with Atari.

Atari said in a statement that its intellectual property portfolio is the firm’s “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,” the company told Develop.

The publisher said it remains committed to working with indie developers to build iOS remakes of its arcade classics. Already Atari has published Asteroids and Breakout titles for smartphones.

“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,” the firm added.

Black Powder Media has warned other iOS developers that “anything that has even a passing resemblance to an Atari classic” could be issued a copyright infringement claim.

The indies also accused Atari of being successful in purging iOS clones due to its “special relationship with Apple”.

Apple has declined to comment on the matter.

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