Wizards of the Coast Accuses MMOTCG Hex of cloning Magic The Gathering
Wizards of the Coast, infamous creators of the TCG Magic the Gathering have filed a lawsuit against the developers behind the upcoming MMOTCG HEX: Shards of Fate for willful copyright infringement.
According to WotC's official press release, Hex developer Cryptozoic has created a "a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering" and while Wizards "appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry" they consider HEX to be a misappropriation of their intellectual property.
In the filed lawsuit documents WotC accuses HEX of possessing many similar mechanics to Magic: The Gathering including color specific resources (Lands in Magic), similar card mechanics (artifacts in both games), along with its interface when compared to the digital version of Magic, Duels of the Planeswalkers.
It is in fact possible to patent basic gameplay mechanics (see mini-game loading screens) and Wizards of the Coast already do own a few patents for Magic including the patent for "tapping" a card although it doesn't seem to have been enforced to the highest degree as there are plenty of offline and online TCGs who feature that mechanic.
WotC claims Cryptozoic has been unwilling to resolve the matter thus forcing the lawsuit. Cryptozoic has yet to offer an official response to the lawsuit.
HEX was successfully Kickstarted back in the early part of 2013 after vastly exceeding its goal. The TCG is currently in closed beta development and promises to combine the world of an MMO into a TCG complete with customizable champions, dungeons, an involved storyline, advance AI, and other social features one might expect to find in an MMO. The PvE portion of HEX is said to be free, with players able to earn over 300 cards. Those who wish to play against real opponents may purchase or trade for additional cards only rewarded through PvP.
About the Author
Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009.
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Sorry but this is totally a MTG clone and even thought there are slight differences in how the game works, mana for instance or even abilities - after playing about 5 matches a few weeks ago I immediately felt this was an MTG knockoff.
Part of me hopes Cryptozoic wins this case as more competition raises the bar overall.
But another part of me knows that WOTC will win because this is a knockoff. Just like Ice Ice Baby was a knockoff of Under Pressure. Different, but too many similarities - I'd compare the music illustration to about 20% the same, this game is about 80% the same which is too much sadly.
I only donated $10 but I'm wondering if they lose the lawsuit will they have to pay us all back?
MTG was the first Trading card game and is untill today the most played and biggest card game out there. If they would want to they could sue almost any TCG out there but actually Hex really looks like a cheap rip off.
That said, I read the legal documents. Page 7-19 do have side by side comparison of some cards that do indeed seem to be direct clones...
Wise judge would just say "change the card look, move on."