I’m sorry this has to be done before we even start with this story.
SEGA Japan are already under scrutiny from many gamers with their “anti-community” stance on Shining Force which – it has been speculated – may have resulted in popular Shining Force III videos being taken down deliberately to influence the YouTube search results for the trailer of the latest Shining Force game Shining Ark. Now though there’s a whole new fuss brewing up, because SEGA Japan has sent in the lawyers on independent game producer Level-5 best known for their Professor Layton series.
SOJ have filed suit against them, specifically over their football RPG franchise Inazuma Eleven, a huge hit for the company which has even spawned anime and manga series. As with most technological lawsuits recently its all about patents – remember SEGA developed a lot of technology in the early days and it seems that in their eyes Level 5 might’ve fallen foul of this. The issue is the way you control characters in the series, using a finger tip or stylus to do so… it all sounds a little like Subbuteo if I’m honest, but since all eight games in the series use it SEGA is claiming against the whole kit and caboodle.
The lawsuit wants the entire series of eight titles stopped and 900 million yen worth of “unpaid” royalties sent over, presumably in a very large briefcase It works out to a cool eleven million bucks US if you’re wondering.
Level 5 naturally enough say this is nonsense and are going to fight the claim.