Developers are going to find it increasingly more difficult to protect their game mechanics under copyright law following a ruling from a Texas court judge.
The ruling stems from a case in which DaVinci Editrice sued Ziko Games over a game with mechanics that were identical to its own,GamaSutrareports. DaVinci’s board game Bang! is based on the Wild West, while Ziko’s Legend of the Three Kingdoms is themed on Chinese history.
Despite the mechanics of the two games being identical, the court ruled that the "expressive" elements – such as art and aesthetics – weren’t similar enough between the two games to warrant copyright infringement. It stressed that the mechanics of Bang! cannot be considered as "expressive" and that the lack of a fixed progression of events means the gameplay cannot be protected by copyright.
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