Developers building iOS titles with a 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 the App Store – though it does not specify whether Apple pulled the game or if the deletion was voluntary.
Black Powder Media said the game’s removal is due to legal action at the hands of Atari, due to similarities between both companies’ games.
“Anything that has even a passing resemblance to an Atari classic has been issued a copyright infringement claim,” read the indie’s blog post.
“So – thanks to their special relationship with Apple – Atari has successfully scrubbed the app store of their perceived competition. It looks as though Apple complied without so much as a rebuttal or independent evaluation.”
The claim is unconfirmed and Develop has contacted Atari for clarification.
Black Powder Media suggests the legal action is due to Atari “paving the way for a reissuing of their classics by putting the squeeze on hundreds of apps”.
The group does not name any other iOS game developers that face similar legal action from Atari.
But the group said “tank games, asteroid shooters, and so on have all been pulled”.