Evony, the online game with the notoriously boob-heavy ads, has sued a U.K. videogame marketer over comments on his blog the company says are "defamatory and false."
Evony LLC launched the suit against former Imagine and Codemasters senior marketer Bruce Everiss in response to "attacks [which] have caused significant damage to the company's brand and the gaming experience for Evony's users and millions of fans around the world." The company claims it has spent "weeks" trying to convince Everiss to retract the "defamatory and false" statements on his blog, to no avail.
"Mr. Everiss' attempts to spread his patently false charges to others in the online community cannot be allowed to go unanswered," said Benjamin Gifford, vice development director for the legal IP strategic division for Evony LLC. "In the digital age in which we now live, online journalists and bloggers - and the traditional media outlets that may rely upon them as sources - must strive for a higher standard of integrity and accuracy. Mr. Everiss' complete disregard for even the most basic tenets of journalistic responsibility have left our company no alternative but to take these legal actions. We hope now, in facing the full light of day before the Supreme Court, that Mr. Everiss will finally come clean and clear the record."
Evony's complaint stems from charges made by Everiss on his blog that the game and the company behind it are perhaps just a little bit shady. He accused the game of infringing rather heavily on the Civilization IP and of stealing images for its cleavage-filled ads from an online costume retailer and also suggested that the game was involved somehow with Chinese gold-farming companies. Finally, he implied - although never outright stated - that theEvony client is malware, a conclusion he reached after hearing several reports of fishy behavior from people who installed it. "Now I am not saying that Evony has a trojan in its client software," he wrote. "What I am saying is that the possibility of this being so is such that I would not let Evony anywhere near my computer."
Lawsuits are complex by nature but this one seems like a particularly tangled web. Evony LLC is, in the technical sense at least, an American company, registered in the corporate tax haven state of Delaware, while Everiss is based in the U.K. That in itself may not be terribly unusual, but the suit has been filed in the Australian state of New South Wales, which Everiss said in a separate blog post has "old-fashioned" libel laws that favor the plaintiff and would require him and his lawyers to fly to the country for every hearing to disprove the charges against him.
"As far as I am concerned Evony are maliciously misusing the Australian legal system," he said in response to an email. "They know that I have no case to answer, everything I have written is the truth or fair comment. So they are making it as difficult as possible for me to defend my position."
"Australia has a reciprocal agreement with the UK, so any judgment is enforceable here," he continued. "Evony are just using their money and power to censor the truth about them on the internet. If they get away with it then nobody is safe, anyone will be able to pay in Australia to have the internet say what they want."
For the moment, however, Everiss isn't backing down; he posted a copy of Evony's press release announcing the suit on his blog as well as an email being circulated to "Evony supporters" and some gaming websites detailing his alleged falsehoods, alongside evidence to support his claims.