Update: Cryptozoic and Hex Entertainment have responded to Wizards of the Coast's intellectual property infringement claim. The company posted the following statement on its website:

As you may be aware, Wizards of the Coast recently filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and Hex Entertainment, LLC in the Western District of Washington. The complaint alleges various similarities between HEX: Shards of Fate and Magic: The Gathering.

Although we take all pending litigation seriously, we do not find any merit to the allegations in the complaint. We do not expect this frivolous legal action to impact our efforts to deliver a compelling and entertaining game experience to our customers.

HEX: Shards of Fate is a digital only MMO-TCG that attempts to innovate what a digital trading card game can be. Its digital only nature allows it to push the boundaries in ways a traditional paper TCG never could. As a small company, the daunting task of defending ourselves from the bullying of a much larger corporation is difficult, but we are committed to HEX: Shards of Fate and ultimately we will prevail.

We respect intellectual property rights, but the right to make a TCG is not exclusive to WOTC. Many TCGs can, and do, coexist consistent with any IP rights WOTC might have. While IP rights are important, so is fair competition. WOTC cannot snuff out fair competition with frivolous infringement assertions.

Further, we ask that you respect the duties and obligations of the HEX team members during this time. Any questions or comments should be directed to legal@hextcg.com. All inquiries will be read but please understand that because of the nature of this matter, not all questions can be responded to at this time.

-The HEX Team 

Original Story:

Wizards of the Coast, the creators of the popular Magic: The Gathering card game, are suing Cryptozoic and Hex Entertainment claiming its game Hex: Shards Of Fate is a clone of its long-running card game.

Wizards of the Coast released a statement regarding the lawsuit on its website, which you can see below:

Today Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and its alter ego, Hex Entertainment, LLC (collectively, “Cryptozoic”), for willful infringement of intellectual property rights.

Cryptozoic develops and publishes the digital trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, and its digital expressions, Magic Online® and the Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers® franchise.

“Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property” said Barbara Finigan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hasbro. “We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter.”

The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement.

Hex: Shards of Fate is the product of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $2,000,000 with a $3000,000 goal. For more on the game, head here. Hex: Shards of Fate is currently available to purchase as an early access title.

We've reached out to Cryptozoic and Hex Entertainment in order for a statement on the lawsuit and will update this story if we hear back.

For the full press release, head to page two.

[Source: Wizards of the Coast, via Kotaku]


Our Take
This seems like it would be a difficult case to prove in a court of law. Many card games are at least somewhat inspired by the mechanics set in place by Magic: The Gathering. I'm sure Hex shares similarities with Wizards of the Coast's game, but to call it a direct clone is a bold statement.