So this morning I’m typing up a post relatively early, for me anyways. I normally don’t start a day with a topic in mind and usually comes from something I’ve read online and has gotten me thinking. Today when I woke up I saw a twitter post from Joe Vargas (Angry Joe / Angry Joe Show) that linked to a lawsuit filed against Cryptozoic by Wizards of the Coast claiming copyright infringement based on the similarities between Cryptozoic’s game Hex: Shards Of Fate and Wizards of the Coast’s Magic the Gathering.
So here’s the thing, yes the two games are similar. They’re both card based games that involve you spending money to get better cards in order to play other people. In Magic you draw “Land” cards which you use to play your creatures cards, instant cast card, etc.. where in Hex you use “Shards” for the same purpose. I’ll grant that there are a lot more similarities between the two games, enough so that I think this could have a negative impact on Hex.
That being said, I think there are also plenty of differences between the two. Namely the fact that there is a PVE aspect to Hex which has not been released to Beta yet. This aspect allows you to group up with your friends and play through dungeons to gain new cards and equipment for your decks selected champion. I know there is a style of game for Magic that allows more than one player to battle some form of boss deck, recently seen with the Theros deck release on Magic which the players could face the Hydra at retail events. I don’t think these are the same thing though, because it is not limited to one fight.
Another difference is that your decks champion can be equipped with stat gear that allows for bonuses that apply to your current deck. I don’t believe that this has been released yet, so I am not familiar with how it works. But as far as I know there is nothing similar to this in Magic the Gathering. Up until recently I’m not sure Magic even had “Champion” cards. The first cards similar to this that I’m aware of are Planeswalker cards, though I don’t know when those were first introduced. I don’t remember them being in the original deck, but I believe they came out some time prior to the release of the Theros expansion.
The last difference that I can think of is the fact that individual cards have the ability to level up in Hex. From what I understand cards will eventually be able to essentially level up and become more powerful versions of themselves allowing for more value to cards that you purchase.
Typing this up I thought of one important fact. Hex is still in closed Beta testing, and that only opened up recently. The amount of time that it took for a lawyer (or group of them) to research and develop the crafted lawsuit would have had them doing so while the game was still in closed Alpha testing. All of their information seems to have been gathered via player livestreams or from the kickstarter campaign that Cryptozoic launched in order to fund the game. So essentially they have filed a suit on a game that is not even available to the public yet.
Now there is also the possibility that this is not real news, and this could all be wasted time. I don’t know if the original source was verified. I’m posting this more as a response to the article that I read.
I will say this however. If this is indeed true and Wizards Of the Coast is going after Cryptozoic for this game then I’m going to lose pretty much all respect for them. I don’t believe that they would make them shut the game down, but asking them to redesign their entire product is essentially saying the same thing.
Oh and I probably shouldn’t fail to mention Blizzards Hearthstone here. Where’s the lawsuit against blizzard? If they’re going to attack Cryptozoic for having a similar game then they should go after Blizzard too since Hearthstone is “similar” enough. I think that Wizards of the Coast should just drop the lawsuit and welcome some competition. I’m pretty sure Hasbro has the copyright on Monopoly anyways.
Maybe Hoyle should sue Wizards of the Coast for having cards with pictures on them, since I’m sure playing cards have been around a lot longer than 1993.
All that said, this has not actually gone to trial. As far as I’m aware the papers have been filed but that is as far as it has gone. This might never go anywhere, but I’m simply annoyed by the fact that it is even happening. I don’t feel like Hex is a blatant rip off, and they are not trying to steal away the Magic fan base. I don’t think that is even possible. Magic has been around since I was 11 years old and is not going anywhere anytime soon.