Independent video game development company Ziggy, creator of “The Store Is Closed” — a horror video game that takes place in a furniture store — has been served a cease and desist letter from Ikea because the store in the game looks eerily similar to the furniture giant’s recognizable showrooms.
U.K.-based Jacob Shaw, who works under the studio name Ziggy, has been given 10 days to “remove all indicia associated with the famous Ikea stores.”
In the letter seen by Kotaku, Ikea says: “Your game uses a blue and yellow sign with a Scandinavian name on the store, a blue box-like building, yellow vertical striped shirts identical to those worn by Ikea personnel, a gray path on the floor, furniture that looks like Ikea furniture, and product signage that looks like Ikea signage. All the foregoing immediately suggest that the game takes place in an Ikea store.”
Legal representatives for Ikea say that this constitutes “unfair competition and false advertising.”
The threat may be overkill, but we all know how important brand recognition is — and what can happen when your brand is associated with something disconnected from or contrary to your customer base.
Plus, the idea of potentially associating gore and violence with Ikea’s famous yellow and blue colors was likely deemed too hazardous to their brand to let this slide.
But from what Ikea told Fortune, they’re at least being light-hearted about it the situation.
“While we think it’s flattering that others are inspired by the Ikea brand, we must be diligent to ensure that the Ikea trademarks and trade dress are not misapplied,” Ikea told Fortune. “Various elements of the video game currently correspond in appearance with the Ikea brand features. We’ve reached out to the creator of the video and asked them to make changes to those elements to ensure that this is no longer the case. They expressed that they understand our request and agreed to make those changes. This should all be well in time for the expected 2024 launch of the game. “We wish the creator of the game the best of luck!”
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