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.