Circle Of Protection: Hex And Magic Settle Lawsuit

Magic: The Gathering has been such a popular collectible card game that it’s no surprise to see traces of it in many modern CCGs, but Hex: Shards of Fate [official site] looked more like Magic than any digital CCG I’ve seen. Magic makers Wizards of the Coast noticed the similarities too, and in 2014 sued the Kickstarted CCG’s makers for allegedly infringing their intellectual property rights. Well, that’s now settled, and Hex will continue on its merry deckbuilding way.

Wizards and the Hex folks Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment jointly announced recently that the suit is settled. They don’t disclose what either company gets out of it, but do say a license of some kind is involved. Presumably that means the Hex lot have paid (or will pay) Wizards… something.

Chief Wizard Greg Leeds said the following whilst wearing a skull atop his head and clutching a massive wand:

“Wizards of the Coast has always welcomed new games to the trading card game genre, and we encourage TCG fans to not only play Magic, but to try many different games. However, we will not hesitate to take action to protect our intellectual property and the amazing work of hundreds of dedicated Magic team members around the world. That is why we brought this lawsuit and why we are happy to announce its resolution through a settlement and license that both protects the valuable intellectual property of Magic: The Gathering and allows Cryptozoic and Hex to move forward with Hex: Shards of Fate.”

Yet I do wonder what would have happened had this gone to trial. Yes, a lot of Hex seems straight out of Magic, but copying, borrowing, and cloning are hardly rare in video games. Going all the way to court could have been costly for the Hex folks whether they won or lost, though. For now, keep on hexing.

17 Comments

  1. draglikepull says:

    I helped Kickstart this game and when I first got into the alpha (or beta? I forget which) I was stunned at just how similar to Magic Hex was. It didn’t borrow the occasional bit of Magic like, say, Hearthstone does, it copied Magic nearly wholecloth, from the colour wheel to the mana curve to the turn phases to the card types and almost everything core about the experience.

    I haven’t played the game in quite a while, so I don’t know how much it may have changed since then, but the initial launch certainly felt like nearly a straight rip-off of Magic.

    • ecbremner says:

      You should come back (I sincerely believe if they can land the PVE that Hex will be a force to be reckoned with in the CCG market). Set 3 has shown how far it can and does divert from magic. All of the core mechanics introduced in set 3 (Shift, Allegience, Prophesy, Spider eggs) are practically impossible in a physical game like magic.

  2. jasta85 says:

    Glad that Hex is safe, while obviously inspired by magic (along with like half the other CCG’s out there) they have been releasing quite a few unique card mechanics and features that could only exist in a online CCG, not a physical one. I look forward to the PvE dungeons coming out later

  3. DeFrank says:

    was so excited for this 2.5 years ago. still no pve. completely burnt out on. :/

    literally soured me on kickstarter altogether.

    yes, i’m grumpy today.

  4. Stuie says:

    TCG. Hex and Magic are TCGs. There’s a huge difference between just collecting cards and actually being able to TRADE the cards. Trading gives your collection tangible value where a CCG does not.

    • drinniol says:

      Uh, wut? You can Collect and Trade the same cards dude.

      • Stuie says:

        If you think CCG = TCG, then you’re obviously as knowledgeable about card games as the author of the article.

        • pepperfez says:

          Is this a joke? I honestly can’t tell.

        • Philotic Symmetrist says:

          TCG⊆CCG

          At least until someone decides to make a procedurally generated TCG…although there would still be a finite number of possible cards so they would technically be collectible.

          • pepperfez says:

            Only if you limit the length of card text Library of Babel-style. If you allow arbitrary lengths then you’ll never catch ’em all.

            As for procedural TCGs, MTG already is one.

          • Philotic Symmetrist says:

            Since the text has to fit on a single card there will be a limit imposed by readability, print resolution or ultimately by molecule density.

            I haven’t looked at many of the MtG ones but I’ve been finding the neural network designed Hearthstone cards to be quite amusing.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Alfy says:

    It’s kind of sad that Wizards will spend that much money protecting their license, while at the same time spending so little on developing their own digital games (MtGO, mainly). Their own offering is such a mess, I got close to selling my whole collection until I realised I would get a very poor deal for it: so many people have quit recently the prices have crashed…

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      On the other hand, considering how many other card games haven’t gotten into trouble with Wizards, the developers of Hex could have been at least a bit less blatant about it. Or, you know, make sure it looks original and uses original concepts within the mold of the genre.

  6. ulix says:

    While I read this title I somehow had the idea for a 2-player asymetrical card-game, where one side plays the state prosecution and one side plays the lawyer of the accused.

    It could be expandable too, with living-cardgame style expansions with new cases.

    You can steal that idea if you want ;)

    • skyturnedred says:

      “You can’t handle the truth!” needs to be a card in this.

  7. ulix says:

    Earth, 2263:
    His name is Shlo-Glob the Sevenhundred-fiftysecond, and he comes from a long lineage of alien-lawyers that have practiced intergalactic law on many planets in many galaxies. As the deadbeat offspring of this prestigious dynasty, he defends the many aliens that live in Neo-Jakarta.