Ikea has sent a cease and desist letter to the developer of The Store is Closed, an indie survival game about spending the night in a furniture store.
As reported by Kotakulawyers representing Ikea accused solo developer Jacob Shaw of trademark infringement and gave him ten days to alter parts of his game that would represent the Ikea trademark.
This includes a blue and yellow sign, Scandinavian name (STYR), yellow vertical striped shirts, gray floor path and furniture. “All of the above immediately suggests that the game is set in an Ikea store,” the lawyers’ letter reads.
No reference to Ikea exists on The Store is Closed Steam Where Starter pages, however, and Shaw argues that he was not inspired by Ikea for the furniture in the game because he bought a pack of generic furniture that can be used in any game. Ikea’s lawyers also cite news outlets and online commentators for drawing a comparison between his game and Ikea.
The letter continued: “Unauthorized use of the IKEA Indexes constitutes unfair competition and false advertising under Sections 43(a) of the US Trademark Act, 15 US C § 1125(a), and state laws. on unfair competition and misleading advertising.
“You can of course easily create a video game set in a furniture store that doesn’t look like or suggest an IKEA store. You can easily make changes to your game to avoid these issues, especially since you don’t don’t plan to release the game until 2024.”
Shaw said he plans to make the changes to The Store is Closed, but is seeking legal advice himself. “I was going to spend the last week of my Kickstarter preparing an update for all the new alpha testers,” Shaw told Kotaku. “But now I desperately have to revamp the whole look of the game so I don’t get sued.”
Although Shaw is just a developer, Entertainment has proven that any company, regardless of size, is at risk of being sued for copyright infringement. Cheating website AimJunkies is being sued by Bungie for implementing cheats in Destiny 2, while Paramount is being sued for its ownership (or lack thereof) of Top Gun: Maverick.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day.