Mobigame was surprised to learn yesterday that its iPhone game Edge was removed from the App Store for the second time.
And the studio’s head, David Papazian, told Develop today that Apple hasn’t explained the removal despite Mobigame’s inquiry.
“They just ignore us,” he said, but Papazian believes he knows why Apple removed the title.
“We only know that Tim Langdell is still harassing Apple and we cannot blame them to be so prudent.”
Tim Langdell forced Apple to remove Edge from the App Store back in May after an apparent trademark infringement.
The legitimacy of Langdell’s operation is a matter of dispute. The company has vehemently argued that Edge Games has – contrary to popular belief – released new games since 1994.
His opponents differ on the issue. Anti-Langdell blog ChaosEdge argues that the firm “has never published or developed a game on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.”
However Langdell is selling new material through his own website, where users can purchase one of two PC games burnt onto blank DVDs and sent out through a mail box in California. Under these conditions, neither Nintendo or Sony accept Edge Games as a developer or publisher with a registered office.
Mobigames’ troubles first arose when the studio was trying to register a trademark for Edge in the US. Langdell saw the game removed. It is thought that Papazian negotiated to change the game’s name to Edgy, yet Langdell refused due to its similarity, before apparently applying for the Edgy trademark in the US.
Events that followed had lowered Langdell’s reputation, with industry forum The Chaos Engine rallying behind Mobigame and establishing funds for any legal dispute Mobigame should face.
Langdell quit the IGDA amid rumours he was about to be forced out, while – to the relief of Papazian – Edge finally returned to the App Store, this time as “Edge by Mobigame”.
By then it was thought that, despite Mobigame having found themselves at the precipice of a protracted legal row, its newly-named game had dodged Langdell’s trademark-chasing offensive.
“It is really amazing,” said Papazian, whose studio is looking to move on. “We released our new game [Cross Fingers] yesterday and on the very same day Apple decided to pull Edge.”
Yet in what is increasingly looking like a legal war of attrition, Papazian remains defiant.
“We remain convinced that we are and at all were times entitled to use the name ‘Edge’,” he said. “And we are determined to continue our efforts to fight for that right and to support those who have been similarly affected.”
Develop has contacted Tim Langdell and Apple.[TIMELINE – MOBIGAME VERSUS LANGDELL]