Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sega Sues Level-5

Welcome to the latest edition of 'who's suing who know and for what dumb reason?'

You know of all the things that I could probably make into staples, the constant coverage of incredibly stupid lawsuits is probably the worst. Shame then, that it also seems to be the most sustainable, mostly because people toss lawyers and summons around like candy.

Our latest example, as the title explains, is Sega suing Level-5. Although I don't think I should really need to mention what Sega has done, Level-5 may not ring as many bells in some cases. The studio has made more than a few noteworthy titles though; DS and 3DS users may recognize them as the people behind the Professor Layton series of games, while others might remember that they're responsible for the Dark Cloud games on the Playstation 2. Also of note is Inazuma Eleven series, a sort of RPG soccer game (no, you didn't read that wrong) which has never come out on this side of the pond, but has enjoyed success in both Japan and Europe.

It's also the reason why Sega is suing. Or to be more specific, one of the ways you control it is.

Sega is saying that "The reason for the suit is the way you control characters using the fingertip or stylus and touch screen infringes on two patents owned by Sega."

God, I wish I were making that up. You have no idea how much I wish this were an April Fools joke or something like that. But no, apparently, Sega is suing because  Level-5 is using a touchscreen in a certain way.

Now, admittedly, it could be that Sega has an incredibly unique touchscreen use patent that Level-5 has infringed upon. More likely in my books? Sega wants some cash and/or a piece of the pie that is the Inazuma Eleven series.

Now, I'm willing to admit that I could be talking completely out of my ass in regards to this. Maybe Sega has a legitimate case. However, given the nature of most of these lawsuits I can't help but be skeptical as to the actual rationale behind this move. It certainly hasn't won Sega any public fans, as almost all of the commentary I've seen regarding this decision coming from gaming communities has been dismissive at best and outright scornful at worst.

I would normally say that we'll have to see what develops, but hell, who am I kidding? I wouldn't really hold your breath waiting for anything significant to come from this. I'm sure not.

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