EDGE (known as "EDGY" in the US) was, and still is, one of the most controversial titles on the iTunes App Store. This is not due to adult content, or anything within the game itself, but rather to the use of the word "EDGE" as the title. The game itself has won countless awards for almost every aspect of the game, including the prestigious Milthon award for Best Mobile Game in Paris, and the IMGA (International Mobile Game Award) at the mobile world congress in Barcelona.
EDGE is a platforming game with grid-based movement. You control a cube which must make it to the exit of each level while collecting smaller, colorful cubes called "prisms". Collecting prisms increases the movement speed of your cube. Scoring is based on the time to complete an individual level as well as the percentage of prisms collected. Like many other games, EDGE makes use of an S-Rank if you perform flawlessly in a level.
Final releases of the game came with over 40 levels, as well as unlockable levels upon collecting all the cubes in each of the main levels. Some of the levels imitate light themes from classic games, or make use of optical illusions to twist the players perception (as the camera is isometric and not directly controlled by the player). There are no enemies in the game but levels commonly include dynamic elements such as buttons, moving tiles or obstacles which may cause an unwary player to fall off the edge of the level. Doing so results in a restart from various invisible check points. Time continues during and after death, making a perfect playthrough the best way to complete a level for S-Rank. There are also more advanced techniques such as balancing the cube halfway to 'hang' on an edge, or using special tiles to shrink your cube and allow it to climb vertical surfaces or fit through smaller areas.
You control the cube on the iPhone by swiping and holding your finger in the direction you want it to move, anywhere on the screen. EDGE was the very first game on the App Store to implement this type of touch control. The PC version can be controlled with a keyboard or controller, which can cause confusion as the cube moves diagonally relative to the keys pressed.
On April 7th, 2009, the founder of Mobigame, David Papazian, received an email from Apple stating that his game had been reported as infringing on a copyright for the word "Edge", and that it would be removed from the App Store. Soon after, he send the owner of the trademark for "EDGE", Tim Langdel an email, hoping to work out the issue personally. The following are excerpts of the two initial emails, quoted from an in-depth article posted by Eurogamer on August 3, 2009.
"We chose the name Edge because it reflects the game's style: the cube you navigate through levels is always hanging on the edge. I did not know about your company or your games before. Please believe me that we did not intend to pass our game off as one of yours in any way."
Tim Langdel replied with the following:
"I am a strong supporter of innovation in games... It is not our intention to do anything other than encourage originality in games and to encourage new game makers. But the problem is that using the trademark 'EDGE' for a game is a direct infringement of our international rights. We have spent a lot of time (and a large amount of money) stopping everyone who tries to use the mark EDGE [for a] game. You wouldn't think of using 'Activision' as the name of a game would you? Even though there has never been a game called Activision. Or 'Electronic Arts' or 'Nintendo'? No, all these names are so closely associated with the name of the company, you would not be permitted to use them for a game without the express permission of the trademark owner... It is the same with EDGE."
These emails sparked what has become one of the most publicized legal battles involving an independent game developer in recent history. On one side of the fence, Langdell claims that he has full rights to using the word "EDGE" in any game setting, and that the game itself is very similar to his 1986 title "Bobby Bearing". He stated that he offered that Mobigame simply change the name to "EDGY", but registered the US trademark for "EDGY" soon after making the suggestion.
According to David, he had tried to work with Tim through multiple emails, but essentially was unable to reach an agreement on the trademark infringement. Both parties have reported conflicting stories as to what actually took place, and evidence supporting both sides has gone public in various forms; generally email communications.
While the legal battle between Mobigame and Edge Games has been going for quite some time, no verdict has been reached on the matter. However, public opinion on the matter has been overwhelmingly on the side of David Papazian. This could be due to Mobigame being the "underdog" in this matter; the independent studio going up against an established company. However, several popular gaming news sites who reported on the events, such as Kotaku and Eurogamer, mentioned numerous cases in the past where Langdell had aggressively sought out legal action against other developers who tried to use the word "edge" in their game title or other platforms. This includes major publisher Namco, who was planning on releasing their game, Soul Edge, in the US at the time. Namco ended up changing the name of the game to "Soul Blade" in the US to avoid complications.
Multiple Apps Store Releases
During the period of legal actions from and against Mobigame, EDGE has been released and removed several times on the App Store. The game was released in December, 2008, but was pulled several months later in May 2009 after Apple received the warning about the copyright violations. After no settlement was made between Mobigame and Edge Games, EDGE was approved by Apple and returned to the app store on October 7, 2009 as "Edge by Mobigame". Despite the change in name, the game was pulled again just a few weeks later on November 26th.
Mobigame then released the game a 3rd time under the name "EDGY" a few days later on December 1. Soon after, it was pulled again, this time by Mobigame, who was worried the release would be used in Langdell's case against EA. Currently, EDGE/EDGY cannot be found in the US or UK App stores, but is still available in other countries. The only game currently available by Mobigame in the US and UK is Cross Fingers.
In September of 2009, Electronic Arts Entertainment filed a Petition for Cancellation against several "Edge" trademarks. EA states that the word "Edge" has not actively been used in any recent commerce from the company. This came a few months after Langdell had threatened legal action against EA for using the same word in their "Mirror's Edge" series of games.
As of March, 2010, reports from Edge Games, Langdell's game company, state that they are "completely confident" they will win the legal battles with both Mobigame and EA. Below is an excerpt from a press release by Edge Games concerning the matter:
"Bottom line, we are the oldest remaining British game company, and one of the oldest remaining US game companies doesn't like the fact there is still one UK company older than itself that they have not yet destroyed. And they wont succeed. False rumours, misinformation and defamation never won any trademark case and it wont this time, either.
Tim Langdell was inducted onto the board at the International Game Developers Association in March of 2009. After the events and accusations of Langdell's alleged involvement in "trademark trolling" smaller independent developers, including Mobigame, an internal petition to members of the IGDA called for a vote to remove him. While the IGDA did not directly start the petition, a meeting was called for October, 3, 2009 to consider the action. Tim resigned from the board in August, 2009.
On April 17th, 2013, the legal battle finally reached a conclusion when a California judge formally cancelled Langdell's ownership of the trademark after all legal hurdles in the way of EA's petition for cancellation originally filed in 2009 had been cleared.
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- Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
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- OS:OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
- Memory:512 MB RAM
- Hard Drive:100 MB HD space