Atari ‘surprised and dismayed’ by similarities between TxK and Tempest

The company currently using the name ‘Atari’ has said that it is perfectly justified to pursue Jeff Minter over the similarities between his game TxK and retro classic Tempest.

Minter yesterday revealed that he has been forced to scrap the PS4, PC and VR versions of TxK following a copyright dispute with Atari – despite the fact that he is one of Tempest’s key designers and believes he personally sustained the brand for many years.

Atari values and protects its intellectual property and expects others to respect its copyrights and trademarks,” a statement supplied to MCV explained. When Llamasoft launched TxK in early 2014, Atari was surprised and dismayed by the very close similarities between TxK and the Tempest franchise.

Atari was not alone in noticing the incredible likeness between the titles. Several major gaming outlets also remarked at the similarity of features and overall appearance of TxK to Tempest; one stated of TxK, ‘This is essentially Tempest’. There is no lawsuit. Atari has been in continuous contact with the developer since the game launched in hopes that the matter would be resolved.”

Atari also supplied MCV with links to reviews by IGN, GameSpot and GamingNexus that all note the similarity between the two brands. It has also requested the TxK be pulled from sale on Vita.

Minter yesterday published a detailed account of his exchanges with Atari, contradicting many of its claims, lamenting the company’s lack of recognition of the part he has played in the brand’s success and accusing it of contradictory behaviour concerning its own re-releases of Tempest.

They never gave an inch and just continued with threats and bullying. Specifically they had their lawyers present a number of legal accusations about a variety of things; we consulted a lawyer who told us that if we wanted to fight against it then it’d be expensive because we’d need to address separately each of the things they were accusing me of,” he said.

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