Kairosoft accuses its Chinese publisher of copyright infringement

Beijing Shi Jun has been accused of using the Game Dev Story developer's source code to make copy-cat games

Japanese developer Kairosoft has openly accused its Chinese publisher of Beijing Shi Jun of violating their business contract since 2018.

As reported by SuperPixel, the mobile developer behind simulation games like Game Dev Story and Hot Springs Story published an open letter to Chinese gamers via the publisher’s TapTap forum.

The letter, which has since been taken down but reportedly reposted on social media, claims that Beijing Shi Jun has been using Kairosoft’s source code to develop copy-cat games.

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According to the report, Kairosoft and Beijing Shi Jun signed a contract in 2017, in order for the developer’s games to have publishing and operating rights in China. However, the publisher is accused of luring players to pre-order games without Kairosoft’s authorisation, while also refusing to share the games’ operating statistics and revenue so that the developer was unaware of how its games were performing in China.

To make matters worse, Beijing Shi Jun has allegedly been using Kairosoft’s source code to develop low-quality copy-cat games, such as Inn in Chang’an and Three Kingdom Tale, while using Kairosoft’s trademark and reputation to deceive players.

While Kairosoft has said it sent out a termination notice for the contract back in 2018, Beijing Shi Jun cut off communication and has continued selling both Kairosoft games and copy-cat games without authorization.

According to Kairosoft, the studio had intended to adhere to its legal requirements by not disclosing contract details or involving players, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that many of its games have been taken down from China’s iOS store due to regulatory issues has forced the studio into voicing its concerns publicly.

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Elsewhere, Bungie has angered Destiny 2 fans by confirming that they will have to pay extra for dungeons in upcoming expansion The Witch Queen.

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