Video game owner sues sword replicators
Call it a case of Sword and Sourceree.
The Tokyo-based owner of the popular Final Fantasy gaming franchise has filed suit in a California court alleging that four wholesalers sold unlicensed replicas of the unique swords featured in four games and one film in the franchise.
Franchise owner Square Enix Co. said the suit, brought in the Central District Court of California, is part of the firm's stepped up campaign to combat piracy of its intellectual property.
'While Square Enix appreciates the enthusiasm of its fans, and values its relationship with them, it is also obligated to protect its intellectual property rights or risk weakening or losing the very rights that enable the company to continue to provide its fans with an exciting entertainment experience,' said Square Enix General Counsel Yasuhiko Hasegawa.
The suit began with the seizure of a crate of replica swords by U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol agents. Square Enix alleges the weapons were fashioned to match the distinctive weapons in the Final Fantasy franchise. The firm subsequently tracked down the primary wholesalers and retailers of the swords seized. Square Enix said it was forced to bring suit after the replicators refused to cooperate with the firm.
Square Enix did not state if it is seeking financial damages from the wholesalers.
The Final Fantasy franchise began as a console role-playing game in 1987, which ultimately spawned a series of more than two-dozen video game iterations on the theme by Square Enix. To date more than 80 million copies of the 28 games in the series have been sold and it ranks as the fourth best-selling video game franchise of all time, following the Mario, Pokemon and Sims franchises.