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IKEA Threatens To Sue Indie Horror Game Because It Looks Similar To Its Store

The indie game developer was given 10 days to make the changes.

Cover image via altdaily/Apparel Resources & Polygon

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Popular Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has recently threatened to sue an indie developer for imitation and infringement in its horror game

Image via IKEA

The furniture retailer, which has made over EUR 40 billion (RM187.6 billion) in revenue last year, has issued a cease-and-desist letter to game developer Jacob Shaw, who has been given only 10 days to change the game completely and remove all similarities associated with IKEA.

As reported by Fortune, an IKEA spokesperson said in a statement that, "While we think it's flattering that others are inspired by the IKEA brand, we must be diligent to ensure that the IKEA trademarks and trade dress are not misapplied."

The cooperative horror survival game titled The Store is Closed is still in development

In the game, players are left to their own devices in a furniture store called STYR (Swedish for 'controls'), where they have to survive by crafting weapons and seeking protection in order to escape.

The indie game's Kickstarter reached USD70,455 (RM333,000) exceeding its initial USD11,507 (RM54,500) goal before being issued the letter.

The game is expected to release in 2024 and is currently only in the alpha-testing phase.

Image via Steam

However, the store design, layout, stripes-clothed monsters, and furniture look eerily similar to the real-life furniture store

In the letter, IKEA's lawyer cites, "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."

Meanwhile, Shaw disputed the claims that the furniture looks like IKEA furniture, as they were only generic furniture asset packs anyone could buy for a price.

Image via Polygon
Image via Steam
Image via Steam
Image via Steam

IKEA maintains that this constitutes "unfair competition and false advertising"

The lawyers told Shaw, "You can easily make changes to your game to avoid these problems, especially since you do not plan to release the game until 2024."

"I was going to spend the last week of my Kickstarter preparing an update for all the new alpha testers," Shaw told Kotaku. "But now I've got to desperately revamp the entire look of the game so I don't get sued."

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