IKEA threatens lawsuit against game developer

The Swedish furniture company claims the game bears similarities to its popular furniture stores and wants the developer to change certain elements.

Popular furniture store, IKEA, has threatened legal action against indie developer, Ziggy, if it doesn’t make changes to its forthcoming horror survival game set in a furniture store.

Ikea Suit
The furniture company demanded that the video game developer remove certain elements from the game.

IKEA, which operates out of the Netherlands, directed the New York law firm Fross Zelnick to serve the game developer a cease and desist demand. IKEA has taken this step because it believes the store the game is set in bears similarities to its stores and the developer has thus committed trademark infringement. This belief is fueled by the fact that some press outlets as well as fans have compared IKEA to the game’s store.

In the notice, IKEA’s lawyers stated that the game’s developer uses indicia associated with the IKEA brand without the store’s authorization. The lawyers then proceed to list examples, which includes "a blue and yellow sign with a Scandinavian name on the store, a blue box-like building, yellow vertical striped shirts identical to those worn by IKEA personnel, a gray path on the floor, furniture that looks like IKEA furniture, and product signage that looks like IKEA signage."

Finally, the lawyers directed Ziggy to change the elements they highlighted ten working days after their letter’s receipt or they will instigate a lawsuit against the studio. However, if you ask the game’s developers, they did nothing wrong. According to an early alpha build of the game released to Kotaku, the blue box-like building and blue and yellow sign only appear on the menu screen and the Scandinavian name that IKEA objected to is only a coincidence. On the letter’s claim that the game uses IKEA-like furniture, the developer says they bought generic furniture asset packs for the game.

Nevertheless, Ziggy will have to comply with IKEA’s demands or risk a lawsuit.

The game, titled The Store is Closed, is a forthcoming horror game inspired by the SCP Foundation’s shared horror universe story titled SCP-3008. The Store is Closed was created by the developer, Jacob Shaw, and is "being set in an infinite furniture store."

Here is its Steam description:

The Store is Closed is a coop survival game set in an infinite furniture store. When the lights go out, the staff attack. You’ll need to craft weapons, and build fortifications to survive the night. Explore the underground SCP laboratories and build towers to the sky to find a way out.

Ikea Suit
The Store is Closed is scheduled for a June 2024 release.

In September, Shaw launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the game. With over $49,000 raised despite a goal of $11,377, the campaign has been a huge success. Due to this development, the studio is expected to make adjustments. So far, it claims that this will not result in any delay of the game's development.

In other news, gaming fans will be glad to learn that Virtuous Studios might be working on a Metal Gear Solid game for Konami. Also, CD Projekt Red has promised fans it will soon release its The Witcher 3 next-gen version.

Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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