BlogSep 29, 2015 by Aethyna
Magic: The Gathering and HEX TCG Made PeaceIf you hadn’t known before, HEX: The Shards of Fate has a bit of a falling out with the hugely popular card-based table-top board game, Magic: The Gathering. Do read on as I unravel the drama and how everything has turned out so far.
If you hadn’t known before, HEX: The Shards of Fate by Cryptozoic Entertainment has a bit of a falling out with the hugely popular cards-based table-top board game, Magic: The Gathering, by Wizards of the Coast since the release of the beta of HEX TCG. Their falling out had led to a lawsuit that was subsequently filed in May of last year, which includes some really serious copyright claims and infringement. Read on as I unravel the drama and how everything has turned out so far.
First up, what is HEX: The Shards of Fate? Well, to put it simply, it is an up-and-coming digitalized form of trading cards game (TCG). The game is funded (and more) via a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, which has seen the game being backed with a whopping $2.2 million in over 30 days. It is also reportedly one of the first Kickstarter projects to launch Alpha testing for its backers back in October of 2013. It is currently undergoing open beta testing and is seeking to expand its community beyond its initial group of backers.
Apparently, the game has caught the eye of Wizards of the Coast, the publisher (a subsidiary of Hasbro) behind the hugely popular cards-based table-top board game, Magic: The Gathering, and the game’s digital forms, Magic Online and the Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalker. According to Wizards of the Coast, HEX: Shards of Fate allegedly had “copied the overall plot, cards, elements, theme, mood, setting, pace, creatures and play sequence” of their game. Their lawsuit included claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement. Things were getting pretty serious by then and, as HEX TCG is under litigation, quite a lot of players are no longer that invested in the game. After all, why go all out in a game when there’s a chance it might be entangled in the court of law later on.... or worse, it may get shut down?
However, after months of negotiations, Cryptozoic Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast have come to a settlement, whereby the details of the settlement are undisclosed. Nonetheless, the main gist of the terms is that Cryptozoic Entertainment will be paying licensing fees to Wizards of the Coast while Wizards of the Coast will allow the game to go on. As the Hex Entertainment President and CEO, Cory Jones, said, “We recognize that Wizards owns valuable intellectual property in Magic: The Gathering, are happy to have this matter settled and excited to move forward with Hex: Shards of Fate”
The CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Greg Leeds, has also commented on the issue. "Wizards of the Coast has always welcomed new games to the trading card game genre, and we encourage TCG fans to not only play Magic, but to try many different games" He then proceeded to say that “However, we will not hesitate to take action to protect our intellectual property and the amazing work of hundreds of dedicated Magic team members around the world. That is why we brought this lawsuit and why we are happy to announce its resolution through a settlement and license that both protects the valuable intellectual property of Magic: The Gathering and allows Cryptozoic and Hex to move forward with Hex: Shards of Fate."
That being said, the gaming community, particularly those who are looking forward to playing HEX: The Shards of Fate at a competitive level, would definitely rejoice with this news. If you enjoy playing digital TCGs or even MMOCCGs, be sure to check out the game, HEX: The Shards of Fate as well!