10 December 2019TrademarksRory O'Neill

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ publisher seeks video game takedowns

The founder of indie game website says it has been hit with takedown notices over games described as being in the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ genre.

According to Leaf Corcoran, the takedown notices came from Chooseco, the publisher of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, which sued Netflix earlier this year.

Corcoran tweeted yesterday, December 9: “warning to any devs using the phrase "choose your own adventure" to describe their games, Chooseco is issuing takedown notices to @itchio for trademark infringement.”

The founder posted an image of a game that had been cited by Chooseco as allegedly infringing its trademark.

Twitter users replied to Corcoran’s post highlighting Chooseco’s January lawsuit against Netflix over the “Bandersnatch” episode of TV series “Black Mirror”, which was marketed as a ‘choose your own adventure’ style special.

Corcoran said: “In order to go after the big guys for the big bucks they have to go after the little guys. They probably use examples of going after smaller creators to strengthen their case in court.”

Speaking to The Verge, Corcoran seemed hopeful that a resolution could be found.

“We are in no way trying to negatively represent the actions of Chooseco. We understand that they need to protect their brand and are happy to work with them to ensure that their trademark is not violated,” Corcoran said.

He also listed some of the games that had been targeted by Chooseco, including a ‘choose your own dating sim text’ adventure “It’s A Date”, and “A Series of Choose Your Own Adventure Stories Where No Matter What You Choose You Are Immediately Killed by a Werewolf”.

Chooseco took exception to Netflix’s “Black Mirror” special earlier this year, claiming that its “dark and “grim” content damaged its brand.

“We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned that we had aligned the CYOA brand they knew and loved with content that surprised and offended them,” a Chooseco spokesperson said at the time.

The company also said that the “Black Mirror” special did not adhere to the rules of “successful interactive storytelling”.

WIPR has contacted Chooseco for comment in response to Corcoran’s tweet.

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14 January 2019   Netflix is facing a trademark infringement suit over the “Choose Your Own Adventure” tagline in the latest episode of TV drama “Black Mirror”.