Ikea has issued a cease and desist demand to an indie horror developer insisting they change their unreleased horror game in a bid to stop press and players alike from comparing it to its global furniture chain.
The Store is Closed – which we told you about a couple of weeks ago – is a haunting mash-up of Endnight Games’ The Forest (which incidentally saw its sequel, Sons of the Forest, recently delayed) and the humdrum of everyday life, and comes from indie developer Ziggy.
Whilst it doesn’t use any of Ikea’s products, names, or branding, Ikea believes the developer is infringing on its copyright and has sent in New York legal firm Fross Zelnick. Consequently, Ziggy – who’s based in the UK – has ten days to make the changes or face legal action.
“IKEA’s lawyers contacted me about The Store is Closed,” Ziggy tweeted, linking to an article on Kotaku.
“I was going to spend the last week of my Kickstarter preparing an update for all the new alpha testers. But now I’ve got to desperately revamp the entire look of the game so I don’t get sued.”
When asked if he’d intentionally designed the store or its contents with Ikea “in mind”, Ziggy said: “I bought generic furniture asset packs to make this game”.
Ikea isn’t convinced, though.
“Your game uses a blue and yellow sign with a Scandinavian name on the store, a blue box-like building, yellow vertical stiped 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,” the legal paperwork insists. “All the foregoing immediately suggest that the game takes place in an Ikea store.”
The lawyers also take issue that even when gaming press haven’t made direct connections to Ikea, readers have: “Further, numerous comments by readers of these stories make an association with Ikea stores,” the letter says.
For those keen to learn more about The Store is Closed, Ziggy has set up a Kickstarter page, with it slated to release for PC, Xbox Series X S and PS5. You can wishlist it now on Steam.