Hasbro and the developers behind My Little Pony: Puzzle Party have been sued by a rival developer shortly after launching the game based on the popular kids show. The rival developer in question is Peak Games, a small developer based out of Turkey with a hit title on the Google Play store called Toy Blast.
According to The Recorder, Peak Games has acquired the services of video game intellectual property rights lawyer Jennifer Kelly from Fenwick & West to sue Hasbro and Backflip Studios on the grounds of copyright infringement. According to Kelly…
“When [My Little Pony: Puzzle Party] was released last week, it was immediately obvious to all of us that this was just a re-skin 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”
The suit rattles off a number of similarities between Toy Blast and My Little Pony: Puzzle Party, including game screen layouts, point systems and gameplay mechanics. You can check out gameplay footage of both Toy Blast courtesy of YouTuber DroidCheat and footage from My Little Pony: Puzzle Party courtesy of RRKids.
There are some similarities, but given that most mobile games utilize a very basic template for gameplay, it’s kind of hard to point it out as blatant infringement. Nearly all match-3 puzzle games seem to have a similar layout and gameplay design due to the limitations of smartphone screens and the touch controls.
Nevertheless, Kelly points out that Hasbro had sued others for copyright infringement a decade ago over a similar matter and now they’ve found themselves caught in the crosshairs of the legal reamers for the same thing.