Candy Jam Makes Me Proud Of The Gaming Industry
Where else, kids. Where else.
Look we’re all well-acquainted with the whole King.com issue that’s been all over the news for the past few months so I won’t bore everyone with anything further than: They tried to trademark two common words (‘candy’ and ‘saga’) which upset a lot of people and then upset a lot more people when they went after developer Stoic’s The Banner Saga in order to enforce that trademark. None of this is news anymore.
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However what is news, at least to me, at least until this past week, is that the gaming industry has hit back.
Cue Candy Jam.
If you’re not familiar with game jams, they’re basically these invitational gatherings of budding developers who are presented with some sort of theme and must then create a game within a short time period that ties into that theme. So for example a zombie-themed game jam might ask developers to create games which show the more philosophical side of zombies, and you’ll get some guy developing a game where the zombies go, “Brrraaaaiiiinnsss?” And so on.
Candy Jam is basically itch.io’s way of throwing up a gigantic middle finger to King.com by inviting developers around the world to create games which are themed around candy, with bonuses for having the words ‘candy’ and ‘saga’ in the title.
Pure genius in one masterful stroke.
“Why? Because trademarking common words is ridiculous, because ethics matter and because it gives us an occasion to make another game jam,” explains the site.
And I’m all for it. After all, King.com ripped off CandySwipe with their Bejeweled clone in the first place so the fact that they’re making millions while these other developers are closing their doors makes me want join in the chorus of ‘fuck you’s currently echoing in the indie-sphere right now.
Here are just a few examples of the 350-ish total entries that came about from Candy Jam:
Time for some quotes!
“The viral aspect of it was really interesting,” said co-host Cariboo. “We started it, but I’m sure most game developers got some the same idea crossing their mind at some point… so there was some kind of inherent buzz among game developers.”
“[It’s] doubtful that King will feel anything,” admitted Ian Stoker, creator of Candy Escape Goat Saga. “But it is useful to make others aware of what happens on the business side of the industry. I don’t necessarily change everything I do when I hear something like this, but it does inform my purchases or downloads or opinions. You have to make choices about what you buy, and to even make a few other people aware of what bothers us, I think that’s important.”
I’m sure as hell all for 350 games that now infringe upon King.com’s precious trademarks. Let them go bankrupt chasing down all those dead end roads, or risk losing their trademark entirely.