Is it legal to remake a game made by someone else on a different platform and give it the same name?

I want to make a remake of a flash game I played in my childhood. The game is not yet available for mobile platforms. Is it legal to give it the original name or should I change the name?
 

Jabbers

Member
I am not a legal expert, I'm not sure there are any on this forum, but you probably shouldn't. By cloning the product and distributing it under the same name, you are potentially deceiving customers and making it appear as though the original developers are responsible for the game. The original developers have the rights to that product name for the purpose of an online game, and creating a competing product with the same name sounds like it infringes on their intellectual property. If the game is visually similar and it is hard to distinguish it from the original product, there might even be a case for violating trade dress.
 
I am not a legal expert, I'm not sure there are any on this forum, but you probably shouldn't. By cloning the product and distributing it under the same name, you are potentially deceiving customers and making it appear as though the original developers are responsible for the game. The original developers have the rights to that product name for the purpose of an online game, and creating a competing product with the same name sounds like it infringes on their intellectual property. If the game is visually similar and it is hard to distinguish it from the original product, there might even be a case for violating trade dress.
but i will be making my own sprites and graphics which means the game will look different and i will be adding many more features to the original game. so the game will look and feel different from the original one. I'm not trying to copy the original game. I just like the concept and would like to use it in my game. I also like the name of the game
 

JackTurbo

Member
Highly dubious legally. IP law in most countries applies at permanence so that flash game is definitely covered.
I'd suggest you do one of two things:
  1. Make it a new game of your own creation but take minor inspiration from the original.
  2. Or contact the original author and get their express written permission
 
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As long as you share the profits with me, I'll allow it. ;)

But seriously, that's generally speaking a no.

However if your game is inspired by another, and you are using different graphics and changing and or upgrading the gameplay significantly, that should be ok, just don't use the same name. You can always make reference to the original game in your marketing materials that you were inspired by it.

Or you could request permission from the original developer to get the all clear.

Best check with a lawyer if you are going to sell it.
 
U

Ungrateful Dead

Guest
Copying mechanics isn't really covered under copyright or IP laws. Unless you're also copying elements of the game design like characters, story, level design, etc, this should be a non-issue. Still, when in doubt about this kind of stuff, always consider consulting a legal expert.

That said, copying the design and mechanics of a game and then using the same name, however, is a hard NO. This would be violating trademark laws (as well as be creating brand confusion which IP owners do not take kindly to) and would get you hit with a cease and desist, or worse, very quickly if the original IP owners were to catch wind of it. If you truly are creating your own assets and the such, you're only setting yourself up for legal catastrophe by using the original name, so I strongly advise brainstorming some new title ideas.
 
Copying mechanics isn't really covered under copyright or IP laws. Unless you're also copying elements of the game design like characters, story, level design, etc, this should be a non-issue. Still, when in doubt about this kind of stuff, always consider consulting a legal expert.

That said, copying the design and mechanics of a game and then using the same name, however, is a hard NO. This would be violating trademark laws (as well as be creating brand confusion which IP owners do not take kindly to) and would get you hit with a cease and desist, or worse, very quickly if the original IP owners were to catch wind of it. If you truly are creating your own assets and the such, you're only setting yourself up for legal catastrophe by using the original name, so I strongly advise brainstorming some new title ideas.
Thanks . I already found a new name for the game :)
 
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