Peak Games has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Hasbro and its Backflip Games mobile division for allegedly cloning the Turkish studio’s Toy Blast and use the same basic game design in a new My Little Pony: Puzzle Party mobile app.
Peak Games filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and the complaint shows multiple images side-by-side where the functions of certain game screens are almost identical.
Fenwick & West partner Jennifer Kelly represents Peak Games in the litigation. In a statement, she said: “Peak Games has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Hasbro and Backflip Studios for taking Peak’s popular game, Toy Blast, cloning it, and cloaking it under the My Little Pony brand. When the game was released last week, it was immediately obvious to all of us that this was just a reskin of Toy Blast. This was only confirmed as we looked at the game more deeply in the subsequent days.
“Peak believes it is obligated to protect its teams’ creativity and hard work, and to discourage others from taking the shortcut of cloning a leading game in the genre. Under this circumstance, we felt it necessary to take the step of filing this action, which Peak has never done before, and did not do lightly.”
GamesBeat asked Hasbro for comment.
Toy Blast has been a hit, hitting No. 1 in the Google Play store and No. 3 in the iTunes App Store for top downloads. It has an average review rating of 4.71 out of 5.0. It’s also one of the highest-grossing games in the store.
The lawsuit says it was “immediately obvious to users as it was to Peak that the game is a re-skin of Toy Blast. Aside from the My Little Pony theme, the differences in the defendants’ game are trivial. Indeed, the copying was so egregious that the tutorial in My Little Pony: Puzzle Party matches the Toy Blast tutorial step by step.”
My Little Pony also allegedly lifts original content and level designs, as well as numerical scores that Peak selected to allow players a balance between challenges and achievements. The suit says that Hasbro should know better, as it has sued others for the same kind infringement. In fact, back in 2008, Hasbro famously sued the makers of Scrabulous, Wordscraper, and Lexulous for copying Scrabble.
Peak was founded in 2010 and its games have been downloaded more than 275 million times and it has 29 million month active users. Toy Blast debuted in August 2015. It is a “collapse” puzzle game that features stacks of colored cubes and obstacles on a variety of distinct game boards. The goal is to move toy objects from one side of the board to another. At launch, Toy Blast had 150 levels and now it has over 1,000.
My Little Pony: Puzzle Party launched on October 13 worldwide.