At some point in our childhood, we've all felt the fear of getting lost in a massive department store. Something shiny caught our attention, and our parents would unknowingly wander off, leaving us to fend for ourselves amidst the nightmarish aisles. That's the exact fear developer Jacob Shaw, a.k.a. Ziggy, based their indie title upon. The Store is Closed is a survival horror game, currently in Kickstarter, that's set in an infinitely expanding furniture store that looks a lot like Ikea.
Unfortunately for Shaw, it appears that Ikea was not too happy with the dev's use of the chain store's branding designs, and has decided to introduce a whole new level of horror into the mix, lawyers. Ikea's legal team has sent a letter to Shaw, telling him that they are aware of the similarities between the store in his game to that of Ikea's branding – not the infinitely expanding horror, of course – and that legal action will be taken if he doesn't change them.
"Our client has learned that you are developing a video game, The Store is Closed, which uses, without our client’s authorization, indicia associated with the famous Ikea stores," says the letter from Ikea which Shaw shared with PC Gamer.
"Your game uses 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. All the foregoing immediately suggest that the game takes place in an Ikea store."
However, it also mentions that it doesn't necessarily want Shaw to shut down his game, only alter the similarities. "You can easily make changes to your game to avoid these problems, especially since you do not plan to release the game until 2024," says the letter.
Shaw, however, told PC Gamer that he "really rather not get sued," but also mentioned that there were issues with Ikea's complaints. "Their requests are a little vague. Like, 'furniture that looks like Ikea furniture,' that's not particularly specific," he said.
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