9 Video Games That Led To Lawsuits


Pokemon is one of the biggest video game series and in 1999 it was sued by magician Uri Geller who believed that the Pokemon known as Kadabra but more importantly called Un-Geller in Japan impersonated him by the way it looked, its abilities, for example, to bend spoons with his mind which Geller is able to do in real life. Uri Geller tried to sue Pokemon for $100 million in damages however his case was thrown out of court.

Second Life

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Second Life is an online virtual world which is developed and owned by San Francisco based studio known as Linden Lab. The game was sued by one of its own players who set up their own in-game art gallery which they used to promote and sell their real-life artwork to Second Life players, the in-game art gallery was called SLART as there was at that time no other games of that name and also he thought it was funny as it sounded as a mix between ‘fart’ and ‘slut’ and registered it as a trademark. However eventually he found other in-game art galleries of the same name however many pointed out that those studios used that name as Second Life Art rather, regardless Second Life was sued and had to pay damages of $1000 per day that the SLART trademark was used in the game, Linden Lab after losing the case sued the player himself in order to remove his trademark as it infringed on Second Life’s copyright rights.

World Of Warcraft

There was a time when World of Warcraft was one of the biggest video games in the world. Alyson Reeves was the founder of Scapegaming which was a company that created private World of Warcraft servers however he was sued by Blizzard as they were unhappy that he was exploiting their game for personal gain and they were not benefiting from it in any way. Reeves ended up losing the case and faced a hefty total bill of $88 million ($64,000 in attorneys fees, $3 million in disgorged profits and $85.4 million in statutory damages)

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Edge was a short-lived game that was forced to shut down due to copyright troll Tim Langdell and his video game company Edge Games Inc. which held the license to the word Edge and used it to bully game and magazine publishers into either shutting down or give him a commission of all the money they make. However, Langdell in 2011 went too far when he tried to sue Electronic Arts who then countersued to remove his patents and in 2013 he lost all his patents to do with the word Edge.

Mortal Kombat

Now, this is a sad case, in 1997 a 13-year-old kid called Noah Wilson was killed by one of his friends by being stabbed with a butchers knife. The mother of Wilson sued Midway the company that developed Mortal Kombat as she accused them of exposing young children to brutal violence and also she used the fact that her son was killed using the same finishing move used by Cyrax. Midway nearly lost but cunningly avoided justice due to the American Amendment rights which made them not responsible for the actions of their consumers.


Pong was created by Activision who was sued by a company called Magnavox who owned a patent created in 1967 which covered a game that has an object hitting another object and bouncing off. Activision lost the case and has to settle a license like deal with Magnavox, however, this allowed for Pong to become very successful as it was a simple and fun game that could easily be replicated however Magnavox made sure to shut down and such attempts.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley in ACTION!

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Teen movie stars Mary & Ashley Olsen had their own video game released as you would if you were if you were a massive celebrity. However the company that developed it originally Acclaim sold off the studio that developed it called Dualstar Entertainment and the twins stopped receiving their agreed royalties which meant that Acclaim were sued for royalties of $177,000 in royalties and also for $300,000 due the cancellation of the sequel and won.

NCAA Football 2013

This was Electronic Art’s answer to 2K, and in 2014 EA was sued by basketball players Ed O’Bannon and Sam Keller for not paying them royalties for using their likeliness, EA ended up paying an undisclosed amount of money and also interestingly enough this was the final game in the series.

Donkey Kong

Now to leave the best till last, in 1982 Universal sued Nintendo as they accused them of using King Kong(who Universal had intellectual rights on) as an inspiration for Donkey Kong. However Universal lost in a very humiliating way when Nintendo pointed out that Universal had themselves admitted that King Kong is in the public domain after Universal sued the studio that made the original King Kong called RKO.

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