IKEA Reportedly Files Cease and Desist Letter Against Indie Developer Over Perceived Similarities Between Horror Game The store is closed and IKEA stores.
The Store Is Closed is a cooperative survival game that takes place in an “infinite furniture store” and will see players needing to “craft weapons and build fortifications to survive the night”.
Created by Ziggy, an independent indie studio, The store is closed is currently in its last week of a Kickstarter Campaign where it raised £45,000 ahead of a 2024 release date.
However, according to Ziggy (aka Jacob Shaw) IKEA lawyers contacted tell him about the game earlier this week. According KotakuLawyers for the Swedish furniture giant have filed a cease and desist letter against Shaw, claiming The store is closed “uses, without our client’s permission, indicia associated with famous IKEA stores.”
— Ziggy (@ZiggyGameDev) October 28, 2022
“Your game uses a blue and yellow sign with a Scandinavian name on the store, a blue box-shaped building, yellow vertical striped shirts identical to those worn by IKEA staff, a gray path on the floor, furniture that looks like to IKEA furniture, and product signage that resembles IKEA signage,” the letter continues. “All of the above immediately suggests that the game is set in an IKEA store.”
Shaw has been advised that its “unauthorized use of the IKEA indicia constitutes unfair competition and false advertising under Sections 43(a) of the US Trademark Act, 15 US C § 1125(a), and state laws on unfair competition and false advertising”.
Shaw disputes these claims, saying the yellow and blue signage is only seen on the game’s main menu, while all furniture in the game comes from “generic furniture packs, but several players and news outlets have compared The store is closed at IKEA. Shaw was given ten days to “change the game and remove all clues associated with famous Ikea stores”.
“I was going to spend the last week of my Kickstarter preparing an update for all the new alpha testers, but now I desperately have to revamp the whole look of the game so I don’t get sued,” Shaw said in an interview.