The Edge Case: Indies Rally To Raise Copyfight Awareness

langdell.pngThe story of Tim Langdell's relentless and darkly fascinating trademark fight against any and all users of the name 'Edge' has been quietly storming under the surface for the better part of this year.

In a nutshell: Langdell's Edge Games, a UK-based publisher in the earliest days of home computer games, has tirelessly struggled to maintain ownership over the word against any would-be competitor, regardless of discipline, growing more convoluted and ludicrous the farther down the rabbit hole you go (the Chaos Edge blog is the most damning at documenting just how bizarre it's become).

edgetitlescreen.jpgFor nearly two decades, it seemed to work. Edge Games successfully struck settlements with movie and comic book companies, further strengthening his grip on the four-letter word, but then Langdell attempted to swat down what should have been his easiest target: tiny French indie developer Mobigame, and their iPhone debut, titled, of course, Edge (pictured left).

After successfully managing to get the game removed from the App Store, Langdell butted up against what could prove to be his downfall: the collective, unshakable 'might' of the indie game community, who've coalesced around the Mobigame struggle and mounted reams of evidence and circumstantial quotes about Langdell's business practices in his early days, seeking to shred the paper tiger and expose what little claim Edge Games has over the trademark.

Now with the legal might of no less than Electronic Arts behind them (who recently filed this scathing suit against Edge Games after Langdell seemed to be targeting EA's Mirror's Edge, using much of the evidence gathered by the indies), and with Edge Games now having successfully convinced Apple to remove Killer Edge Racing from the App Store, the indie community has served its latest sardonic volley against Langdell, rallying together to show support for 'the fallen' by incorporating the name into their own games.

Below, then, a gallery of all the participants' parodies. Whether the 'troll day' has any effect other than situation-awareness and to what end the community will take its efforts remains to be seen, but either way it's a heartening reminder of the size and solidarity of the indie games movement.


Derek Yu modifies his Spelunky with its new name, and a pixel-caricature of Edge Games' owner.


Steph Thirion's iPhone debut Eliss gains an added dimension to give the game more, well, edges.


Effing Hail designer Greg Wohlwend and Closure creator Tyler Glaiel introduce their latest work and company name.


Recently featured Toronto dev Capybara announce a title switch for their game previously known as Critter Crunch.


Also recently featured Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman unveils the largest of the efforts: a new website for Atomic Edge Games, pitch perfectly capturing the spirit of Langdell's amateur site-development skills, and following suit by renaming his games and using, as does Langdell, assets from pre-existing works to promote them.


Austria's Broken Rules (now to be known as Broken Edge) converts their PC/soon-to-be WiiWare game And Yet It Moves to its new name.


Mike Kasprzak modifies his iPhone debut game Smiles down to the level of each mode.


Art game master Messhof announces his latest work.


Dejobaan take their already unlikely named game AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity to new heights.


And finally, Fez creators Polytron unveil their decision to re-introduce their game as Fedge.

To learn more about the Edge Games vs. The World efforts, visit the Chaos Edge blog, TIGSource's roundup of the ongoing story, and Simon Parkin's Eurogamer feature laying out just how this all began.