IKEA has allegedly filed a cease and desist letter against an indie developer over perceived similarities between horror game The Store Is Closed and IKEA stores.
The Store Is Closed is co-op survival game set in an “infinite furniture store” and will see players needing to “craft weapons and build fortifications to survive the night.”
Created by Ziggy, a one-man indie studio, The Store Is Closed is currently in its last week of a Kickstarter campaign where it’s raised £45,000 ahead of a 2024 release date.
However, according to Ziggy (aka Jacob Shaw) IKEA’s lawyers contacted him about the game earlier this week. According to Kotaku, the Swedish furniture giant’s lawyers filed a cease and desist letter against Shaw claiming The Store Is Closed “uses, without our client’s authorisation, indicia associated with the 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-like building, yellow vertical striped shirts identical to those worn by IKEA personnel, a grey path on the floor, furniture that looks like IKEA furniture, and product signage that looks like IKEA signage,” continues the letter. “All the foregoing immediately suggest that the game takes place in an IKEA store.”
Shaw has been told that his “unauthorised use of the IKEA indicia constitutes unfair competition and false advertising under Sections 43(a) of the U.S. Trademark Act, 15 U.S. C § 1125(a), and state unfair competition and false advertising laws.”
Shaw disputes the claims, saying the yellow and blue signage is only visible on the game’s main menu while all in-game furniture comes from “generic furniture packs but several players and press outlets have compared The Store Is Closed to IKEA. Shaw has been given ten days to “change the game and remove all indicia associated with the 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’ve got to desperately revamp the entire look of the game so I don’t get sued,” Shaw said in an interview.