Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is already under fire. GameInformer has come across a set of legal documents that suggest the game’s future setting may violate Activision’s contract with Infinity Ward. In fact, the primary developer of the series retains the rights to any Call of Duty games set post-Vietnam.
I’m not a lawyer or anything, but you’d think Activision would have this covered before they commissioned something like this. However, you should keep in mind that the company already has a legal dispute with Infinity Ward and series creators Jason West and Vince Zampella.
I don’t think the game will be affected by any of this, but it will further strain Activision’s relationship with IW.
Capcom’s Dead Rising may have been a critical and commercial hit, but someone didn’t like the game: film production company MKR Group who alleged that the game stole ideas from their Dawn of the Dead film. While they had taken things to court, the trades are now reporting that Capcom got the upper hand and has won the lawsuit over the film company.
United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg granted Capcom’s motion seeking relief from a lawsuit after MKR threatened to sue.
"The few similarities MKR has alleged are driven by the wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall during a zombie outbreak," claimed Capcom in the motion.
Though Capcom is basking in glory right now, their win wasn’t exactly a pretty one. Dozens of zombie movies and games were introduced in court by Capcom to establish the conventions of the zombie genre, but they were all thrown out because the company included summaries taken from Wikipedia.
Ultimately, Seeborg found some critical differences between the game and the movie, most notably the absence of a political or social message in the game which the movie proudly flaunts.
Capcom is currently developing further titles in the series, with sequels said to be in the works for multiple platforms.
Though Blizzard is doing well in China, it still isn’t far away from legal problems. The company has been sued by Chinese IT company Founder Electronics who is claiming for 100 million yuan in damages for copyright infringement. Apparently, Blizzard, The9 (which runs WoW in China) and Qingwentuwen (Beijing distributor) had used five fonts from the company’s database for use in World of Warcraft without proper authorization.
Founder Electronics, the largest provider of Chinese fonts in the country, claims that the infringement of copyright was “serious” due to the fact that WoW has more than 7.5 million active player accounts. “The lost earnings of one billion yuan was a conservative estimate,” they said.
No comment has been made yet by Blizzard. This is, interestingly, the largest IP suit in China, a country ridden with software piracy.