From the day 1, several players in the community suggested the similarity between the HEX and the gold standard of the TCG, Magic the Gathering. Apparently, the similarity was enough to catch the wizard of the coast eyes, and they have filed a lawsuit in United States against the HEX/Cryptozoic.
Wizards of the Coast Files Complaint Against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment
for Copyright, Patent and Trade Dress Infringement
May 14, 2014 (Renton, WA) – Today Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and its alter ego, Hex Entertainment, LLC (collectively, “Cryptozoic”), for willful infringement of intellectual property rights.
Cryptozoic develops and publishes the digital trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, and its digital expressions, Magic Online® and the Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers® franchise.
“Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property” said Barbara Finigan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hasbro. “We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter.”
The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement.
About Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering is the world’s best strategy game with more than 20 million players and fans worldwide. Through a unique blend of digital game play and face-to-face play opportunities in more than 6,000 hobby game stores around the world, Magic offers a robust gaming experience for its global community of passionate fans. For more information, visit magicthegathering.com.
About Wizards of the Coast, LLC
Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards’ players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and KAIJUDO. Wizards is also a publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information about our world renowned brands, visit the Wizards of the Coast Web site at www.wizards.com.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company’s world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 180 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more at www.hasbro.com.
What is the Crypzoic’s response?
HEX Entertainment will be releasing an official statement early next week. We thank you all for your patience.
What’s the consequence?
It is unlikely that anything happens right away, but independent of the result of the lawsuit, this can potentially hurt the sales of the game.
Here is why. The dTCG is a general genre that requires microtransaction i.e. buying booster packs, paying for participating drafts. Although moment to the moment, the game is fun and which is why we all play the games in this genre, another sales point of the genre is the collective nature of the game. When something you collect has no value, it certainly takes a way most people’s interest in collecting them.
Though it is highly unlikely, the worst comes the worst HEX as a game can be shut down from the consequence of this lawsuit. If that happens, especially the game being digital, there will be nothing left for all those money you spent. Even though it is a slim chance, such thought can certainly hinder many players from refraining spending money into the game.
Some makes claim that perhaps this is a good thing. WotC is definitely the biggest name in this field. So WotC claiming HEX as a copy of Magic is making HEX steps ahead of any other dTCG out there. Perhaps this is proving HEX is recognized to be the potential fear for the Wizard.
For the good or bad, it is true that this lawsuit will bring in more publicity to the HEX, and perhaps there may be some folks out there decide to give a try to HEX because of this.
Some of the official forum members are suggesting changes in the game such as resource system. Although this is nothing new as it has been suggested since the day 1 of the game, this time these individuals are saying perhaps making things more different from Magic, the better chance it is for HEX to not lose this lawsuit.
The change in the game mechanics like the resource system will affect entire game balance as your average resource play in a game would be much higher, whole card pool’s cost-performance balance changes.
So it is hard to believe such drastic change will take place, but certainly a one possibility.
What can we do?
As a player, I don’t think there is anything we can do. Best thing is to just keep playing while you can. It is a fun dTCG, and more hours you can get from it, the better you feel even if something happens to this game.