Mobigame’s award-winning iPhone game Edge has been removed from the App Store, pending a legal battle with Tim Langdell (pictured at right) over the trademark “Edge.” What’s troubling is that, according to a GameSetWatch article by Simon Carless, Langdell, who founded and owns the company Edge Games, has had a history of using his trademark to cause creators grief and to link himself with various high-profile media projects, including, but not limited to, games.
If you look on Tim’s Wikipedia page, you’ll notice that he is associated with Edge Magazine, a Malibu Comics character named Edge, and also the movie The Edge, starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. What Tim actually did on any of these projects is questionable, but my guess would be that it’s about as much work as he will do for Edge, the iPhone game, once all the dust settles. Namely, he threatened to sue the living fuck out of anyone in his path (mind you, this is conjecture).
You may also notice that the Wikipedia entry is oddly detailed and poorly cited for a man who no one has really given a shit about until now… it’s also under a neutrality dispute. And no wonder – the entire page is almost single-handedly the creation of user Cheridavis, who, very coincidentally, shares the name of Tim’s wife, Cheri Davis Langdell. When pressed on the issue of neutrality, Cheridavis wrote: “You are mistaken. I am writing a book on founding members of the game industry and noticed that Tim Langdell was one of the only people missing from Wikipedia. The article I created is based on my research, not on being Tim Langdell or knowing him personally.” That would be Tim Langdell, the husband of Cheri Davis Langdell, the founder of the game industry, the producer of such notable titles as Fairlight and Snoopy: The Case of the Missing Blanket, and the man who participated in these three roundtables at GDC this year:
– Who Controls a Game’s IP and Who Reaps the Financial Benefit?
– How to Design Your Game So That its IP is More Valuable to Hollywood
– How to Sell Your IP to Hollywood (Without Selling Your Soul)
If you’re wondering where Simon’s article for GSW went, it is, for whatever reason (heh), not available anymore. Unless you go to NeoGAF or any of the other places the article has been reposted. And if, after reading this, you’re wondering, like I was, about Mirror’s Edge, you’ll be happy to note that Mr. Langdell’s EDGE Games is currently working on a new game called “Mirrors a game from Edge,” which I’m sure will not conflict in any way with the popular parkour-inspired FPS.
Jokes aside, the most frightening thing about this entire debacle is not how greedy and disingenuous human beings can be (you should be used to it by now), but that Mr. Greedyguts himself is a board member on the IGDA, a non-profit organization created to empower game developers and advocate on their behalf. Which is, in this author’s distinct opinion and should in no way be construed as a fact, somewhat like having Joseph Mengele on the board of the Red Cross. It’s absolutely fucking ridiculous and brings the credibility of the organization to serious question. How does this happen and what are they going to do about it?
Thanks to mklee for pointing this out, via TIGForums. Thanks to John Nesky for pointing out the GDC roundtables.
Update 2: The follow-up to this article can be found here.