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Atari going after Minter over TxK

Wants him to remove the game from PSN and stop making Tempest clones.

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Jeff Minter of Llamasoft has gone public to explain his side of a legal feud that has been going on between him and the remnants of Atari (or perhaps it's the remnants of Infogrames) where it boils down to Atari wanting him to remove TxK from PSN and stop making Tempest clones (TxK being latest). All of this according to Minter's claims.


Of course, it needs mentioning that Minter coded Tempest 2000 for Atari back in the day and his attempts to perfect the formula have continued ever since. In fact, he goes even further:

"Wouldn't it be nice if there were actually some kind of precedent set that determined how different a game had to be to be considered a different game legally? Well, it just so happens there is, and it involves Tempest 2000 and Atari! Do you remember there was a Playstation port of Tempest 2000 called "Tempest X"? I always wondered why the name was changed, and other little aspects of the gameplay were altered. years later I managed to chat online with the guy who did the port, and he told me that the changes were made "to reduce the royalty burden"."

Atari in turn has responded to Minter's claims on Gamasutra:

"Atari values and protects its intellectual property and expects others to respect its copyrights and trademarks. When Llamasoft launched TxK in early 2014, Atari was surprised and dismayed by the very close similarities between TxK and the Tempest franchise. Atari was not alone in noticing the incredible likeness between the titles. Several major gaming outlets also remarked at the similarity of features and overall appearance of TxK to Tempest; one stated of TxK, "This is essentially Tempest." There is no lawsuit. Atari has been in continuous contact with the developer since the game launched in hopes that the matter would be resolved."

We can't help but feel that their response was typed by a heartless lawyer bot. Of course it is very difficult to imagine that Atari would win an actual legal case over this (just think of how many games use the basic concept of another game, add a few mechanics and switch the art and music under a different name), but naturally bullying a developer with the threat of a lawsuit is of course not the same as actually going to court.

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