Like many others, we’ve been following the story about indie game developer Matthew Cox calling out King.com’s for trademarking the name Candy Crush Saga. Games and business press alike picked up the news, and we generally saw a consensus about the hypocrisy of such behavior. Gamers may disagree on prices, business models, or platforms, but this was one of those moments when the industry’s self-checking mechanism kicked in.
We’re can’t say for certain where the soul of gaming lies. Like anyone else obsessed with games, we watch the daily debates on Neogaf, Reddit, TouchArcade, Kotaku, and beyond. Still, there are moments where something clearly goes off balance and gamers assemble into something beautiful: people from all sides of the industry – consumers included – will rally to try and restore equilibrium. In this case, King.com still denies cloning any games, but has now taken down Pac-Avoid and is presumably rethinking some of their more aggressive legal behavior.
In the midst of dramas like these, we feel lucky to be working in games. Are people’s reactions always reasonable and proportionate? Of course not. We’ve seen outright harassment, people lose livelihoods over a few thoughtless tweets, and developers quit making games altogether because of the vocal internet horde. But what counts is that there a real passion here on the part of both game makers and players, and a burning desire among millions of people to have a say in the future of gameplay. .
People that work in games know they better think twice about rampant greed, deceitful behavior, and releasing a poorly tested title. Without question, transparency is the winning strategy these days – for many games, there is barely a difference between the developers and the people playing (and modding) the game. It’s not just the technology that makes games fascinating. It’s also every person that is invested in their progress.