Ikea comes with an iron fist to enforce its image in a strange case of protecting the brand image. After Ziggy, a one-man studio consisting of developer Jacob Shaw showcased their horror title “The Store is Closed”, Ikea lawyers reached out to him with an ultimatum.
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As per the letter, which Kotaku read and verified, Shaw was given 10 days to change and alter certain likenesses to the Swedish furniture brand. It provided Shaw with a list of what Ikea considered aspects that infringe on the company’s branding.
IKEA's lawyers contacted me about The Store is Closed.. #IndieGameDev #gamenews #Ikea https://t.co/sKYCeozPKm
— 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,” the list read.
“All the foregoing immediately suggest that the game takes place in an Ikea store.”
In an interview, the developer mentioned that the claims of the furniture looking like the Swedish brand are false. He also claims that he bought generic asset packs to make the title.
The lawyers’ letter further reads: “You can of course easily make a video game set in a furniture store that does not look like, or suggest an IKEA store.” “You can easily make changes to your game to avoid these problems, especially since you do not plan to release the game until 2024.”
Furthermore, Shaw received ten days of notice from the date of the letter to make the changes. As of writing this, the game’s Kickstarter campaign raised around £53,000.