Wizards of the Coast Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Crypotozoic's HEX MMO

Wizards of the Coast Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Crypotozoic's HEX MMO

HEX shards of fate

Wizards of the Coast has filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Cryptozoic, alleging that the Kickstarter success story HEX MMO is a clone of Magic: The Gathering.

Wizards of the Coast announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment for copyright and patent infringement. The lawsuit alleges that Cryptozoic's HEX: Shards of Fate collectible card game MMO willfully infringes on its Magic: The Gathering intellectual property rights.

Here's the press release from Wizards of the Coast:

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.

The complete lawsuit describes HEX as "a nearly identical game to Magic." The lawsuit cites a post on Threshold: The Hex Podcast that lays out the similarities between Hex and Magic. A chart in the lawsuit summarizes all the similarities between the two games, including the number of starting life, the win conditions, tapping cards to activate actions, five types of spell and creature colors, analogous card types, identical turn structure, and many other similarities.

Cryptozoic Entertainment raised over $2.2 million dollars on Kickstarter for HEX: Shards of Fate. The campaign ended at 759% of its $30,000 goal, making it ones of the most funded video game Kickstarters. HEX: Shards of Fate is currently in closed beta. Cryptozoic is known for publishing original and licensed board games and card games, such as the World of Warcraft trading card game, The Walking Dead board game, and several board games and a comic book for the web comic Penny Arcade.

Cryptozoic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Wizards of the Coast

Permalink

I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

I'm reluctant to scream "frivolous" or make accusations of patent trolling because there have been other CCG games or those using mechanics based on them that have not been sued. This includes situations where physical CCGs have been directly linked to MMO gameplay, such as what "Star Wars Galaxy" had going with it's CCG for a while.

It also appears they are specifically going after the MMO, as opposed to the card game itself, which makes me think that they are claiming a lot of code was lifted specifically from their game.

I'm neither a big fan of WoTC or the MtG game, but nothing in this very, very, limited amount of information smacks as being a problem so far.

Therumancer:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

I'm reluctant to scream "frivolous" or make accusations of patent trolling because there have been other CCG games or those using mechanics based on them that have not been sued. This includes situations where physical CCGs have been directly linked to MMO gameplay, such as what "Star Wars Galaxy" had going with it's CCG for a while.

It also appears they are specifically going after the MMO, as opposed to the card game itself, which makes me think that they are claiming a lot of code was lifted specifically from their game.

I'm neither a big fan of WoTC or the MtG game, but nothing in this very, very, limited amount of information smacks as being a problem so far.

I also wonder at what level Hasbro sends in the lawyers. It might go over the heads of WotC since large U.S. corporations like Hasbro tend to be aggressive with their IP as a matter of course. It's also part of the wider quirk of IP law, especially U.S. IP law, that companies feel compelled to act just to cover their bases.

But, like you said, other CCGs manage to exist whilst being very functionally similar to MTG so i guess we'll just have to wait and see for the specifics. And HEX from what I've seen is pretty much functionally identical to Magic barring a few bells and whistles.

Scrumpmonkey:

Therumancer:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

I'm reluctant to scream "frivolous" or make accusations of patent trolling because there have been other CCG games or those using mechanics based on them that have not been sued. This includes situations where physical CCGs have been directly linked to MMO gameplay, such as what "Star Wars Galaxy" had going with it's CCG for a while.

It also appears they are specifically going after the MMO, as opposed to the card game itself, which makes me think that they are claiming a lot of code was lifted specifically from their game.

I'm neither a big fan of WoTC or the MtG game, but nothing in this very, very, limited amount of information smacks as being a problem so far.

I also wonder at what level Hasbro sends in the lawyers. It might go over the heads of WotC since large U.S. corporations like Hasbro tend to be aggressive with their IP as a matter of course. It's also part of the wider quirk of IP law, especially U.S. IP law, that companies feel compelled to act just to cover their bases.

But, like you said, other CCGs manage to exist whilst being very functionally similar to MTG so i guess we'll just have to wait and see for the specifics. And HEX from what I've seen is pretty much functionally identical to Magic barring a few bells and whistles.

Yeah, but what IP are they protecting that they haven't opted to do so in the past? There have been tons of CCG's, both tabletop and online, that WotC has not acted on in the past. Either before nor after Hasbro bought them. Heck Cryptozoic has made some of the other games. Also remember Hasbro is also Parker Brothers. And their lawyers have had nearly a century of parsing the questions of where the boundary is with regard to games. I think what it will come down to is the rule set is what they are feeling is infringing. The exact nature of the rules and the mechanism of the gameplay. The same as they would not let you publish your own version of monopoly and just rename the board. For a game more than anything else it is the rules that are the protected IP.

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

Very few CCGs are actually particularly similar to Magic. At least not at a gameplay level. Individual elements pop up a lot. Deck Building is a universal concept, but the specific rules vary massively. How the table is set up, location importance...

Some examples:

Star Wars from Decipher set locations out in a row between players. The objective was do empty your opponent's deck. This could be achieved through controlling and "draining" locations, or through combat. Combat could only occur if characters and vehicles, or starships were at the same location as your opponent's. Decks could not exceed 60 cards, and could not contain both light and dark side cards (they had different backs (this is something of a theme with Star Wars)). There were no real factions, in the sense that Magic uses colors. You were either Light side or Dark.

Babylon 5 functioned without set locations in play. The player's goal was to reach 20 influence before any other player managed to. Influence was also used to play or promote characters, and to play other cards. Deck construction required at least 45 cards, and no more than 3 copies of any individual card. Players were allowed to select their opening hand of a starting character, and three other cards of their choice. Each major race from the series got two factions, and most of the minor ones were lumped into a catch all faction.

Game of Thrones functions very similarly to B5, though the goal is to reach 15 power, and units are payed for with a separate resource. Again, 60 card deck, three copies per deck limit. The game has six playable houses, with a lot of minor ones getting eaten by whomever they're allied with.

Aliens vs. Predator was a squad management game... sort of. If you played Marines (or the pirates from Resurrection) you started with 4 characters and a location, and your goal was to kill anything that moved. Predators started alone, and their goal was to earn enough honor (a currency) from the hunt and head home. Aliens just wanted to kill everything or turn the entire board into a hive. For Humans and Predators, playing new Characters was (effectively) impossible, and they were hard to heal. Aliens on the other hand could keep pumping out new characters, and building swarms, and (I think) healing. Terminator added 2 new factions, bringing the final count to 6. Decks were limited to three copies of a card, except Items, with a minimum deck size of, I think, 45.

Star Trek, also from Decipher, each player laid out 6 locations (This was revised to 5 with the second edition) between the players. The objective is to reach 100 points before your opponent. The primary means of generating points was to assemble a crew and complete missions. Attacking opponent's ships and crews was completely optional. Deck construction required at most 30 "seed cards" (these were played before the game actually started), 6 missions (the locations), and at least 30 draw cards. Unique missions and seed cards could not be included multiple times, but there was no other per deck limit. Second edition revised the rules, your draw deck needed to contain at least 30 cards, 5 missions, and at least 25 dilemma cards (one of the seed card types), with no more than 3 copies of any card per deck. First edition had a ludicrous faction list, off hand I think it ended up around 15? Second Edition limited it to 7 or 8.

FFG's Star Wars is a completely different animal from the Decipher game, and it underlines the BS of "they're all the same." As with Decipher, players are split between Light Side and Dark Side, and cards can't be mixed across. Light Side players need to destroy 3 of their opponent's Objectives. Dark Side players need to advance the Death Star dial to 12. Each turn, they're able to advance it one or two notches, and destroying Light Side objectives advances it based on the number of destroyed LS objectives. Deck rules are fairly simple, select 10 objectives, with a two objective per game limit. But, Each objective contributes five specific cards to the player's draw deck. So, as you see your opponent's objectives, you'll know more about what cards are present in their deck. Cards are split between six factions, three light, three dark.

So... no, just copying Magic is, flat out, stupid.

Starke:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

Very few CCGs are actually particularly similar to Magic. At least not at a gameplay level. Individual elements pop up a lot. Deck Building is a universal concept, but the specific rules vary massively. How the table is set up, location importance...

Some examples:

[Snip]

To go further:

Netrunner is a non-symmetrical game, one player plays a giant Cyberpunk corporation and the other plays a hacker called a Runner. Runners belonged to several philosophies, Corps belonged to one of several parent corporations, and your identity as Runner or Corp actually affected what sort of cards you could include in your deck. The Corp lays ICE to protect their computer servers from the Runner and tries to complete agendas to score points. The runner tries to gather programs and hardware and contacts that will give them the tools to break ICE, access servers, and get steal agendas which is how they score points. First player to 7 points wins. Time Management is very important, Corp and Runner both have a certain amount of time units on their turn and doing the correct actions and in the right order is the key to strategy. Similarly earning money efficiently and quickly is very important and Runners need it to buy programs, Corps need it to set up ICE, both players can use it for special events to give an edge.

Yu-Gi-Oh! was in its original form in the parent manga a take-off on Magic the Gathering, but it actually shared very little relation to Magic and now is very far afield. Decks are 40 cards minimum with a 15 card Extra deck that contain extra-powerful monsters with specific requirements to summon them. Both players start with 8000 Life Points and win by eliminating the other player using their Monsters, Spell cards, and Traps. Players are allowed a single regular summon, but other than and your LP that there are no formal resources in Yugioh. Gameplay tends to be built around swiftly summoning monsters to get access to your more powerful Extra Deck monsters or to create synergy between monsters and spells that support each other.

Arguably the closest Card Game in recent memory that was really similar to Magic was the World of Warcraft card game. Even then the WoW card game carved out a distinct identity by making decks be based on class and affiliation, the way it ran resources and quest cards, the ability to enhance your hero card with Equipment, and the focus on directly attacking enemy units (something that's absent from Magic).

Starke:
Very few CCGs are actually particularly similar to Magic. At least not at a gameplay level. Individual elements pop up a lot. Deck Building is a universal concept, but the specific rules vary massively. How the table is set up, location importance...

That used to not be the case. The main reason it became the case is that Wizards patented CCGs, and a collection of elements therein as they pertained to such games. It thinned out the market fast. Which wasn't ENTIRELY a bad thing, but it made some good games unfeasible. at least one of the SW games existed because of an agreement with WotC. Not bad, considering how derivative Richard Garfield used to admit the idea of Magic was.

Wizards/Hasbro/whoever also filed one regarding constructable strategy games which may or may not do the same.

Omnicrom:
To go further:

Netrunner is a non-symmetrical game, one player plays a giant Cyberpunk corporation and the other plays a hacker called a Runner. Runners belonged to several philosophies, Corps belonged to one of several parent corporations, and your identity as Runner or Corp actually affected what sort of cards you could include in your deck. The Corp lays ICE to protect their computer servers from the Runner and tries to complete agendas to score points. The runner tries to gather programs and hardware and contacts that will give them the tools to break ICE, access servers, and get steal agendas which is how they score points. First player to 7 points wins. Time Management is very important, Corp and Runner both have a certain amount of time units on their turn and doing the correct actions and in the right order is the key to strategy. Similarly earning money efficiently and quickly is very important and Runners need it to buy programs, Corps need it to set up ICE, both players can use it for special events to give an edge.

This example is irrelevant as Netrunner, while it still existed, was published by Wizards of the Coast who, last I checked, aren't known for patent trolling themselves.

Regarding the issue at hand is how the game in question, whether it's paper or digital, relates to WotC/Hasbro's 'Method of play' (or whatever the extraordinarily broad CCG related patent that the US Patent office saw fit to grant is called). If it ticks off as many points as WotC are claiming then I'd imagine that Cryptozoic are pretty fucked.

I would also add my favorite CCG that managed to be interesting without ripping M:tg off too much. That would be 'Warlord: Saga of the Storm' which combined CCG and miniature gaming elements into IMO a really unique game that, like most so-called M:tg killers, never really got much support.

Sources have just told me id Software has just sued Activision, EA, and MS for cloning Doom.
/s

Why did they wait nearly a year later, well I say year because the kickstarter campaign ended on June 7, 2013, is there something I am missing that is right in my face?

MarlaDesat:
A chart in the lawsuit summarizes all the similarities between the two games, including the number of starting life, the win conditions, taping cards to activate actions, five types of spell and creature colors, analogous card types, identical turn structure, and many other similarities.

because god forbid anyone else uses a 20 side roll as its lifebar! thats so copyright infrongement. its also so copyright infringement to have a win condition of "kill your enemy". and 5 colors apperently are copyright as well, dont any other game dare to use 5 colors. the whole tapping cards thing was silly notion from the start but its an effective measure of cards in use.

So yewah, this feels like its copyright trolling.

Xannidel:
Why did they wait nearly a year later, well I say year because the kickstarter campaign ended on June 7, 2013, is there something I am missing that is right in my face?

well you need it to have some money so you can sue them. after all if you sue somone without money you cant profit from that.

Strazdas:

MarlaDesat:
A chart in the lawsuit summarizes all the similarities between the two games, including the number of starting life, the win conditions, taping cards to activate actions, five types of spell and creature colors, analogous card types, identical turn structure, and many other similarities.

because god forbid anyone else uses a 20 side roll as its lifebar! thats so copyright infrongement. its also so copyright infringement to have a win condition of "kill your enemy". and 5 colors apperently are copyright as well, dont any other game dare to use 5 colors. the whole tapping cards thing was silly notion from the start but its an effective measure of cards in use.

So yewah, this feels like its copyright trolling.

Xannidel:
Why did they wait nearly a year later, well I say year because the kickstarter campaign ended on June 7, 2013, is there something I am missing that is right in my face?

well you need it to have some money so you can sue them. after all if you sue somone without money you cant profit from that.

Or they tried to reach some kind of agreement with Cryptozoic, which took a year to run its course. It is never wise just to sue someone. If you can reach an agreement that is favorable to you with out going to court, that is always the best course of action. You can never be 100% assured that you will win a court case.

You guys should really check out the link point out the similarities, they are pretty striking. I can seen why Wizards thinks it has a case.

EDIT: Also Cryptozoic is not some upstart. They had lots of money before now. I am willing to bet on that.

Xannidel:
Why did they wait nearly a year later, well I say year because the kickstarter campaign ended on June 7, 2013, is there something I am missing that is right in my face?

I think it only becomes actionable once it is a clearly finalized and announced and shown product. You can't really sue them or C&D them for stuff they are only thinking about doing. Plus there is a bit of legal lag going on there. WotC would have had to find out exactly what Hex was and have their lawyers painstakingly dissect it to see how it came close to or crossed their IP.

It should also be noted one critical difference between Hex and World of Warcraft CCG, one of Cryptozoic's earlier games. I can't see their lawyers really wanting to go after Blizzard and Blizzards financing and legal team for a close but no conflict situation. They would hold that to a narrower interpretation. Whereas Cryptozoic standing alone using Kickstarter funding? No real reason to fear billion dollar legal retribution there.

Zachary Amaranth:

Starke:
Very few CCGs are actually particularly similar to Magic. At least not at a gameplay level. Individual elements pop up a lot. Deck Building is a universal concept, but the specific rules vary massively. How the table is set up, location importance...

That used to not be the case. The main reason it became the case is that Wizards patented CCGs, and a collection of elements therein as they pertained to such games. It thinned out the market fast. Which wasn't ENTIRELY a bad thing, but it made some good games unfeasible. at least one of the SW games existed because of an agreement with WotC. Not bad, considering how derivative Richard Garfield used to admit the idea of Magic was.

Wizards/Hasbro/whoever also filed one regarding constructable strategy games which may or may not do the same.

Harper Prism was the only company that ever agreed to pay royalties on that patent. The real target, and reason for those patents may have been to go after TSR over it's Spellfire card game, because Wizards hasn't used them since. TSR (arguably) botched it's legal defense and Wizards ended up owning the company outright... which is, by the way, why Wizards has the rights to D&D these days.

Thing is a lot of the very not-MTG CCGs came out years before those patents were approved, including the Decipher and Precedence titles I mentioned.

The real issue was, a lot of very early CCGs, the ones that came to market in early '94 were just quick attempts to cash in on Magic's success. By the time you get into games released in '95, the Magic clones were a lot rarer, and it wasn't because anyone was afraid that Wizards would come after them.

Hell, some of the more Magic like titles came out after those patents existed. I'd pretty gleefully call Vs. a Comic Book obsessed Magic the Gathering on meth.

looking at the comparison make them seem quite similar, id like to see a list of differences as well

Omnicrom:

Starke:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

Very few CCGs are actually particularly similar to Magic. At least not at a gameplay level. Individual elements pop up a lot. Deck Building is a universal concept, but the specific rules vary massively. How the table is set up, location importance...

Some examples:

[Snip]

To go further:

Netrunner is a non-symmetrical game, one player plays a giant Cyberpunk corporation and the other plays a hacker called a Runner. Runners belonged to several philosophies, Corps belonged to one of several parent corporations, and your identity as Runner or Corp actually affected what sort of cards you could include in your deck. The Corp lays ICE to protect their computer servers from the Runner and tries to complete agendas to score points. The runner tries to gather programs and hardware and contacts that will give them the tools to break ICE, access servers, and get steal agendas which is how they score points. First player to 7 points wins. Time Management is very important, Corp and Runner both have a certain amount of time units on their turn and doing the correct actions and in the right order is the key to strategy. Similarly earning money efficiently and quickly is very important and Runners need it to buy programs, Corps need it to set up ICE, both players can use it for special events to give an edge.

Yeah... everytime someone mentions that they added factions to the Runners and Corps I blanche. I've still got some of the old purple and green backed cards around here somewhere. Fun trivia, Netrunner was actually the first CCG that had asymmetric win conditions. The game itself dates back to 1996, and there were two expansions, The Proteus somethingerother, and Netrunner 2.0, which was a 50 card set that was supposed to be part of a second core edition that never materialized.

There was also a Cyberpunk 2020 CCG in the early 2000s, based on the same setting, but not the same systems, I think. And, there was a Shadowrun CCG in '95 that had an expansion on the way, but, I think, got canned before it could be released.

Omnicrom:
Yu-Gi-Oh! was in its original form in the parent manga a take-off on Magic the Gathering, but it actually shared very little relation to Magic and now is very far afield. Decks are 40 cards minimum with a 15 card Extra deck that contain extra-powerful monsters with specific requirements to summon them. Both players start with 8000 Life Points and win by eliminating the other player using their Monsters, Spell cards, and Traps. Players are allowed a single regular summon, but other than and your LP that there are no formal resources in Yugioh. Gameplay tends to be built around swiftly summoning monsters to get access to your more powerful Extra Deck monsters or to create synergy between monsters and spells that support each other.

IIRC, originally, everything dealt damage in multiples of 100, so all of the numbers in the game were artificially inflated. YuGiOh was never really my style of game. Keeping in mind that it's been a decade, I seem to recall playing cards face down came without a penalty, which made my opponent's insistence that, no, they were going to play some face up really... weird.

Omnicrom:
Arguably the closest Card Game in recent memory that was really similar to Magic was the World of Warcraft card game. Even then the WoW card game carved out a distinct identity by making decks be based on class and affiliation, the way it ran resources and quest cards, the ability to enhance your hero card with Equipment, and the focus on directly attacking enemy units (something that's absent from Magic).

I mentioned a minute ago Vs. Yes, 50 life instead of 20. Yes, it's superheros. Yes, there's no dedicated resource cards, so you can never blow your mana curve. But, at the same time, there are a lot of similarities... aside from the part where the seven and eight drop cards are consistently apocalyptic.

NuclearKangaroo:
looking at the comparison make them seem quite similar, id like to see a list of differences as well

When I first read some of Hex's cards, I immediately thought it was another of Wizards of the Coast's jokes,Space: The Convergence being the first. Space: The Convergence was essentially Magic: The Gathering, but in space. The rules were exactly the same; the only thing they changed was the flavor (science fiction instead of fantasy).

Hex appears to offer a large amount customization for individual cards, which to my knowledge, no TCG has ever done before. However, the core mechanics (and the cards) are almost entirely the same as MtG's; every single Hex card I looked at resembled a reflavored Magic card, in exactly the same way a Space: The Convergence card did. And as cool as the RPG elements look, it's as much a clone of MtG as StC was, only with a few extra peripherals.

Kengaskhan:

NuclearKangaroo:
looking at the comparison make them seem quite similar, id like to see a list of differences as well

When I first read some of Hex's cards, I immediately thought it was another of Wizards of the Coast's jokes,Space: The Convergence being the first. Space: The Convergence was essentially Magic: The Gathering, but in space. The rules were exactly the same; the only thing they changed was the flavor (science fiction instead of fantasy).

Hex appears to offer a large amount customization for individual cards, which to my knowledge, no TCG has ever done before. However, the core mechanics (and the cards) are almost entirely the same as MtG's; every single Hex card I looked at resembled a reflavored Magic card, in exactly the same way a Space: The Convergence card did. And as cool as the RPG elements look, it's as much a clone of MtG as StC was, only with a few extra peripherals.

i see...

heres a thing i just thought, this doesnt happen often in video games, can you imagine if activision tried to sue every other modern military shooter?

this industry is based on making slight adjustments to existing formulas, sometimes games may only differ on story and levels while keeping pretty much the exact same mechanics

why is this not an issue when it comes to video games but it is when it comes to TCG?, even if Hex was blatantly copying MtG, it is trying to add its flavor to the formula

NuclearKangaroo:

Kengaskhan:

NuclearKangaroo:
looking at the comparison make them seem quite similar, id like to see a list of differences as well

When I first read some of Hex's cards, I immediately thought it was another of Wizards of the Coast's jokes,Space: The Convergence being the first. Space: The Convergence was essentially Magic: The Gathering, but in space. The rules were exactly the same; the only thing they changed was the flavor (science fiction instead of fantasy).

Hex appears to offer a large amount customization for individual cards, which to my knowledge, no TCG has ever done before. However, the core mechanics (and the cards) are almost entirely the same as MtG's; every single Hex card I looked at resembled a reflavored Magic card, in exactly the same way a Space: The Convergence card did. And as cool as the RPG elements look, it's as much a clone of MtG as StC was, only with a few extra peripherals.

i see...

heres a thing i just thought, this doesnt happen often in video games, can you imagine if activision tried to sue every other modern military shooter?

this industry is based on making slight adjustments to existing formulas, sometimes games may only differ on story and levels while keeping pretty much the exact same mechanics

why is this not an issue when it comes to video games but it is when it comes to TCG?, even if Hex was blatantly copying MtG, it is trying to add its flavor to the formula

I'm afraid I don't really have an answer that isn't mostly speculation, as I have next to no knowledge of how copyright law, and most laws in general, operate.

However, I'm assuming that Hasbro could theoretically sue anyone they want, but there's no way they're going to win every single one of those lawsuits. So, instead, they only file lawsuits they think they'll win.

But believe me when I say that Hex is incredibly similar to Magic: The Gathering. Like, you could literally pit a Magic: The Gathering deck against a Hex deck (without any of that extra stuff) using either games' rules and have next to no rules-hiccups. You'd have to translate a few game terms, but as the post on the Hex Podcast website proves, they're practically 1:1 translations.

So I think most people will agree that this is a lawsuit Hasbro has a good chance of winning, which probably wouldn't be the case for a lot of other TCGs.

Also, as has been mentioned before in this thread, there are lots of TCGs that are in many ways similar to MtG (which is inevitable, given that it pioneered the entire TCG genre), and none of them have been hit with lawsuits, so it's not like this happens often with TCGs either.

Kengaskhan:

NuclearKangaroo:

Kengaskhan:

When I first read some of Hex's cards, I immediately thought it was another of Wizards of the Coast's jokes,Space: The Convergence being the first. Space: The Convergence was essentially Magic: The Gathering, but in space. The rules were exactly the same; the only thing they changed was the flavor (science fiction instead of fantasy).

Hex appears to offer a large amount customization for individual cards, which to my knowledge, no TCG has ever done before. However, the core mechanics (and the cards) are almost entirely the same as MtG's; every single Hex card I looked at resembled a reflavored Magic card, in exactly the same way a Space: The Convergence card did. And as cool as the RPG elements look, it's as much a clone of MtG as StC was, only with a few extra peripherals.

i see...

heres a thing i just thought, this doesnt happen often in video games, can you imagine if activision tried to sue every other modern military shooter?

this industry is based on making slight adjustments to existing formulas, sometimes games may only differ on story and levels while keeping pretty much the exact same mechanics

why is this not an issue when it comes to video games but it is when it comes to TCG?, even if Hex was blatantly copying MtG, it is trying to add its flavor to the formula

I'm afraid I don't really have an answer to that, as I have next to no knowledge of how copyright law, and most laws in general, operate.

I'm assuming that Hasbro could theoretically sue anyone they want, but there's no way they're going to win every single one of those lawsuits. So, instead, they only file lawsuits they think they'll win.

As has been mentioned before in this thread, there are tons of TCGs that are in many ways similar to MtG (which is inevitable, given that it pioneered the entire TCG genre), and none of them have been hit with lawsuits, so it's not like this happens often with TCGs either.

TSR's Spellfire.

Kengaskhan:
And believe me when I say that Hex is incredibly similar to Magic: The Gathering. Like, you could literally pit a Magic: The Gathering deck against a Hex deck (without any of that extra stuff) using either games' rules and have next to no rules-hiccups. You'd have to translate a few game terms, but as the post on the Hex Podcast website proves, they're practically 1:1 translations.

I think most people will agree that this is a lawsuit Hasbro has a good chance of winning, which probably wouldn't be the case for a lot of other TCGs.

Yeah, without looking at Hex, this is probably just because it was a near 1:1 conversion. When it comes to games, it has to be an almost exact copy to be actionable.

I've actually got an RPG on my shelf that's almost identical to the first edition White Wolf games, except that instead of rolling multiple D10s and checking for success, you roll a single D10 and try to go under your Attribute + Ability total. ...and the setting's less interesting, but, still. As far as I can tell, they were never sued, and just went under for being garbage.

Therumancer:

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

I'm reluctant to scream "frivolous" or make accusations of patent trolling because there have been other CCG games or those using mechanics based on them that have not been sued. This includes situations where physical CCGs have been directly linked to MMO gameplay, such as what "Star Wars Galaxy" had going with it's CCG for a while.

It also appears they are specifically going after the MMO, as opposed to the card game itself, which makes me think that they are claiming a lot of code was lifted specifically from their game.

I'm neither a big fan of WoTC or the MtG game, but nothing in this very, very, limited amount of information smacks as being a problem so far.

Hah HEX is way to stable a program to have lifted any code from MTGO....

Scrumpmonkey:
I'm not sure about the finer details but the systems in place in HEX are VERY similar to those of MtG. But i also think those systems are what defines the genre. I don't know the specific details but if they don't have some particular piece of patent or IP they think they can use i don't think they would sue. Many CCGs exist without legal action from WotC

That said this could come off a little like ID software suing someone for creating an FPS.

It's important to remember that they do own the concept of tapping, so that's at least one thing they can make a claim on.

SL33TBL1ND:

It's important to remember that they do own the concept of tapping, so that's at least one thing they can make a claim on.

Ah yes i keep forgetting that tapping or turning cards to signify something is one of the base trademarks they have held since the game began. When MtG was owned by smaller companies and wasn't fully established these patents and IP were incredibly important to the games survival as CCGs began to take off.

Shalok:

Hah HEX is way to stable a program to have lifted any code from MTGO....

Yeah. It's not like they replicated waiting for a modern/high level draft event with real prize money to fire only to have everyone crash out mid tournament. Wizards REALLY need to get their shit together with MTGO.

Kengaskhan:

NuclearKangaroo:

Kengaskhan:

When I first read some of Hex's cards, I immediately thought it was another of Wizards of the Coast's jokes,Space: The Convergence being the first. Space: The Convergence was essentially Magic: The Gathering, but in space. The rules were exactly the same; the only thing they changed was the flavor (science fiction instead of fantasy).

Hex appears to offer a large amount customization for individual cards, which to my knowledge, no TCG has ever done before. However, the core mechanics (and the cards) are almost entirely the same as MtG's; every single Hex card I looked at resembled a reflavored Magic card, in exactly the same way a Space: The Convergence card did. And as cool as the RPG elements look, it's as much a clone of MtG as StC was, only with a few extra peripherals.

i see...

heres a thing i just thought, this doesnt happen often in video games, can you imagine if activision tried to sue every other modern military shooter?

this industry is based on making slight adjustments to existing formulas, sometimes games may only differ on story and levels while keeping pretty much the exact same mechanics

why is this not an issue when it comes to video games but it is when it comes to TCG?, even if Hex was blatantly copying MtG, it is trying to add its flavor to the formula

I'm afraid I don't really have an answer that isn't mostly speculation, as I have next to no knowledge of how copyright law, and most laws in general, operate.

However, I'm assuming that Hasbro could theoretically sue anyone they want, but there's no way they're going to win every single one of those lawsuits. So, instead, they only file lawsuits they think they'll win.

But believe me when I say that Hex is incredibly similar to Magic: The Gathering. Like, you could literally pit a Magic: The Gathering deck against a Hex deck (without any of that extra stuff) using either games' rules and have next to no rules-hiccups. You'd have to translate a few game terms, but as the post on the Hex Podcast website proves, they're practically 1:1 translations.

So I think most people will agree that this is a lawsuit Hasbro has a good chance of winning, which probably wouldn't be the case for a lot of other TCGs.

Also, as has been mentioned before in this thread, there are lots of TCGs that are in many ways similar to MtG (which is inevitable, given that it pioneered the entire TCG genre), and none of them have been hit with lawsuits, so it's not like this happens often with TCGs either.

Actually this will probably be a uphill battle for Hasbro. First lets start with the copyright claim. It is absolute impossible to win for Hasbro, unless Hex blatantly copied exact card art or text from Magic the Gathering. Next lets look at the patent dispute, it pretty much comes down to how much the court is willing to look at what Hasbro can actually patent, which is not a lot, if the ruling is made off of Stare Decisis(previous rulings of similar cases.) The last is actually the best case Hasbro has; Trade Dress deals with how much Hex is advertised and looks like Magic: The Gathering. I'm not familiar enough with Trade Dress law to tell any how much of a case Hasbro has, but if anything, this is where they are going to put most of the resources to prove their case.

Baldr:

Kengaskhan:

NuclearKangaroo:

i see...

heres a thing i just thought, this doesnt happen often in video games, can you imagine if activision tried to sue every other modern military shooter?

this industry is based on making slight adjustments to existing formulas, sometimes games may only differ on story and levels while keeping pretty much the exact same mechanics

why is this not an issue when it comes to video games but it is when it comes to TCG?, even if Hex was blatantly copying MtG, it is trying to add its flavor to the formula

I'm afraid I don't really have an answer that isn't mostly speculation, as I have next to no knowledge of how copyright law, and most laws in general, operate.

However, I'm assuming that Hasbro could theoretically sue anyone they want, but there's no way they're going to win every single one of those lawsuits. So, instead, they only file lawsuits they think they'll win.

But believe me when I say that Hex is incredibly similar to Magic: The Gathering. Like, you could literally pit a Magic: The Gathering deck against a Hex deck (without any of that extra stuff) using either games' rules and have next to no rules-hiccups. You'd have to translate a few game terms, but as the post on the Hex Podcast website proves, they're practically 1:1 translations.

So I think most people will agree that this is a lawsuit Hasbro has a good chance of winning, which probably wouldn't be the case for a lot of other TCGs.

Also, as has been mentioned before in this thread, there are lots of TCGs that are in many ways similar to MtG (which is inevitable, given that it pioneered the entire TCG genre), and none of them have been hit with lawsuits, so it's not like this happens often with TCGs either.

Actually this will probably be a uphill battle for Hasbro. First lets start with the copyright claim. It is absolute impossible to win for Hasbro, unless Hex blatantly copied exact card art or text from Magic the Gathering. Next lets look at the patent dispute, it pretty much comes down to how much the court is willing to look at what Hasbro can actually patent, which is not a lot, if the ruling is made off of Stare Decisis(previous rulings of similar cases.) The last is actually the best case Hasbro has; Trade Dress deals with how much Hex is advertised and looks like Magic: The Gathering. I'm not familiar enough with Trade Dress law to tell any how much of a case Hasbro has, but if anything, this is where they are going to put most of the resources to prove their case.

Trade dress only applies if they actually copied the card format, mana or tapping symbols.

This one ends up on the patent, and that one's iffy. I'm told, by people who've actually looked at them, that the patents might be invalid if someone could make the right prior art claims. IITC, they actually patented booster pack distribution and tapping.

Starke:

Baldr:

Kengaskhan:

I'm afraid I don't really have an answer that isn't mostly speculation, as I have next to no knowledge of how copyright law, and most laws in general, operate.

However, I'm assuming that Hasbro could theoretically sue anyone they want, but there's no way they're going to win every single one of those lawsuits. So, instead, they only file lawsuits they think they'll win.

But believe me when I say that Hex is incredibly similar to Magic: The Gathering. Like, you could literally pit a Magic: The Gathering deck against a Hex deck (without any of that extra stuff) using either games' rules and have next to no rules-hiccups. You'd have to translate a few game terms, but as the post on the Hex Podcast website proves, they're practically 1:1 translations.

So I think most people will agree that this is a lawsuit Hasbro has a good chance of winning, which probably wouldn't be the case for a lot of other TCGs.

Also, as has been mentioned before in this thread, there are lots of TCGs that are in many ways similar to MtG (which is inevitable, given that it pioneered the entire TCG genre), and none of them have been hit with lawsuits, so it's not like this happens often with TCGs either.

Actually this will probably be a uphill battle for Hasbro. First lets start with the copyright claim. It is absolute impossible to win for Hasbro, unless Hex blatantly copied exact card art or text from Magic the Gathering. Next lets look at the patent dispute, it pretty much comes down to how much the court is willing to look at what Hasbro can actually patent, which is not a lot, if the ruling is made off of Stare Decisis(previous rulings of similar cases.) The last is actually the best case Hasbro has; Trade Dress deals with how much Hex is advertised and looks like Magic: The Gathering. I'm not familiar enough with Trade Dress law to tell any how much of a case Hasbro has, but if anything, this is where they are going to put most of the resources to prove their case.

Trade dress only applies if they actually copied the card format, mana or tapping symbols.

This one ends up on the patent, and that one's iffy. I'm told, by people who've actually looked at them, that the patents might be invalid if someone could make the right prior art claims. IITC, they actually patented booster pack distribution and tapping.

If they patented Booster Pack/Distribution or along those lines, they didn't do a very good job on enforcing that patent, and may not be eligible to have it protected. As for the tapping, a single game mechanic is not protected by copyright, trademark, nor patent.(although the game programming code may be.)

Baldr:

Starke:

Baldr:

Actually this will probably be a uphill battle for Hasbro. First lets start with the copyright claim. It is absolute impossible to win for Hasbro, unless Hex blatantly copied exact card art or text from Magic the Gathering. Next lets look at the patent dispute, it pretty much comes down to how much the court is willing to look at what Hasbro can actually patent, which is not a lot, if the ruling is made off of Stare Decisis(previous rulings of similar cases.) The last is actually the best case Hasbro has; Trade Dress deals with how much Hex is advertised and looks like Magic: The Gathering. I'm not familiar enough with Trade Dress law to tell any how much of a case Hasbro has, but if anything, this is where they are going to put most of the resources to prove their case.

Trade dress only applies if they actually copied the card format, mana or tapping symbols.

This one ends up on the patent, and that one's iffy. I'm told, by people who've actually looked at them, that the patents might be invalid if someone could make the right prior art claims. IITC, they actually patented booster pack distribution and tapping.

If they patented Booster Pack/Distribution or along those lines, they didn't do a very good job on enforcing that patent, and may not be eligible to have it protected. As for the tapping, a single game mechanic is not protected by copyright, trademark, nor patent.(although the game programming code may be.)

Assertion only needs to happen with trademark. Trademarks are not patents. Patents do not suffer from dilution. Copyrights do not suffer from dilution. Patents don't need to be litigated to remain in effect. Please try to remember, we are not talking about trademarks, or copyright; we are talking about patents.

Never mind that the patents are ridiculous on their face, and any half-competent patent attorney should immediately point to trading cards and baseball cards, and get the patent invalidated due to prior art.

Starke:
\By the time you get into games released in '95, the Magic clones were a lot rarer, and it wasn't because anyone was afraid that Wizards would come after them.

No, they were still all over the place. I mean, seriously, my FLCS was lousy with them, as were the malls. This was the period in which most of my friends actually got into the games, meaning a huge influx interest. I played about five billion magic clones, many of them produced right before the patent was announced.

Zachary Amaranth:

Starke:
\By the time you get into games released in '95, the Magic clones were a lot rarer, and it wasn't because anyone was afraid that Wizards would come after them.

No, they were still all over the place. I mean, seriously, my FLCS was lousy with them, as were the malls. This was the period in which most of my friends actually got into the games, meaning a huge influx interest. I played about five billion magic clones, many of them produced right before the patent was announced.

At the risk of just being contrary: name them.

Now, I haven't played the five billion CCGs you have, and as I recall the 100th CCG was released in 2000, after the patent was announced, so I'm not sure where the other, slightly less than five billion games you played came from.

There were a few that were very similar with a few minor alterations. But, Magic clones were always in extreme minority after '94. Source: I played a fuckawful lot of CCGs back in the 90s.

I'll give you partial credit though. A lot of local shops held onto a lot of non-selling CCGs until the late 90s, so I ended up buying a ton of the Star of the Guardians cards for about 30 bucks in the late 90s. It was one of the early Magic clones with a few tweaks, but the game didn't move until much later. I suspect stuff like Wyvern was still kicking around and going on clearance around the same time for you. But... yeah, Magic clones died out fast, as actual game designers got involved.

NuclearKangaroo:
looking at the comparison make them seem quite similar, id like to see a list of differences as well

Currently I am part of Hex's Closed Beta, and here's what I would list as some of the differences that's actually in the Closed Beta Client right now. Some of the things listed is "it is sort of different". Just to try to add to the list of things to consider.

Booster Packs:
Additional content - Comes with a "loot chest" (not yet able to be opened, suppose to contain PvE extras such as equipment for champions). Has a change of spawning a free all rare 15 card "primal" booster pack.

Champion:
Champion powers - Gain charges from playing resources/shard/mana, on player's turn spend X amount of charges to use ability. Different champion, different abilities. This is very similar to what's in WoWTCG.

Resource Mechanics:
Shard Threshold vs Resource Cost - Playing a basic shard/resource/mana gains the player a neutral resource and a shard of the type played. Colored cards have a requirement of X needed threshold of that type to play, and pay Y amount of the neutral resource. For example in Hex, a Murder quick action requires 1 Blood threshold and 3 resources to play. So to show the difference, in Hex you would be able to play 3 Murders with only playing out 1 Blood Shard and having 9 resources some other way.

Shard of Fate - Currently the only "non-basic" shard in the game. Playing it adds a resource and "searching your deck basic shard... gain that shard's threshold" or something like that.

Troop Affecting Abilities:
Permanent buffs/debuffs on Troops - For example, there are ways to give a troop +1/+1 and this buff persists on the troop when it is sent to graveyard, back in to deck, voided, etc. Also there are more advanced granted abilities such as "when this troop is destroyed, draw a card..."

Cards Transforming to Different Cards - For example, a card changing in to a different card.

Reverting buffs/debuffs on Troops - Changing a card back to it's original state.

Cards Interacting with Deck:
Add/creating new cards in to Decks - For example, create X and shuffle in to opponent's deck.

Drawing from opponent's Deck - For example something like draw from opponent's deck and change threshold requirement to Blood.

Starke:

Baldr:

Starke:
Trade dress only applies if they actually copied the card format, mana or tapping symbols.

This one ends up on the patent, and that one's iffy. I'm told, by people who've actually looked at them, that the patents might be invalid if someone could make the right prior art claims. IITC, they actually patented booster pack distribution and tapping.

If they patented Booster Pack/Distribution or along those lines, they didn't do a very good job on enforcing that patent, and may not be eligible to have it protected. As for the tapping, a single game mechanic is not protected by copyright, trademark, nor patent.(although the game programming code may be.)

Assertion only needs to happen with trademark. Trademarks are not patents. Patents do not suffer from dilution. Copyrights do not suffer from dilution. Patents don't need to be litigated to remain in effect. Please try to remember, we are not talking about trademarks, or copyright; we are talking about patents.

Never mind that the patents are ridiculous on their face, and any half-competent patent attorney should immediately point to trading cards and baseball cards, and get the patent invalidated due to prior art.

I only took law classes in copyright, trademark, negotiations, and 1st amendment. I hardly know anything about patent law.

Some day WotC and Games Workshop are going to get into a lawsuit war. And it will be glorious.

Baldr:

Starke:

Baldr:

If they patented Booster Pack/Distribution or along those lines, they didn't do a very good job on enforcing that patent, and may not be eligible to have it protected. As for the tapping, a single game mechanic is not protected by copyright, trademark, nor patent.(although the game programming code may be.)

Assertion only needs to happen with trademark. Trademarks are not patents. Patents do not suffer from dilution. Copyrights do not suffer from dilution. Patents don't need to be litigated to remain in effect. Please try to remember, we are not talking about trademarks, or copyright; we are talking about patents.

Never mind that the patents are ridiculous on their face, and any half-competent patent attorney should immediately point to trading cards and baseball cards, and get the patent invalidated due to prior art.

I only took law classes in copyright, trademark, negotiations, and 1st amendment. I hardly know anything about patent law.

You lived until you've tried to brief International Bankruptcy cases. Or, you know, haven't plead for the mercy of not living. Either way.

Also, in case it wasn't clear already, IP law is an oxymoron.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here