Update: Adds Al Lowe and Wisecrack comments, and clarifies legal situation.
A new Kickstarter for a Sam Suede game by Wisecrack Games just launched, and Replay Games is exploring its legal options to get co-founder Al Lowe and corresponding Leisure Suit Larry images off the page.
"I think the blatant misuse of the Leisure Suit Larry name and copyrighted material shows clear disregard for copyright law," Replay Games co-founder Paul Trowe said. "To piggyback on someone else's success is not only rude but also illegal. Those who continue with this will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law. We are suing today."
Lowe helped create the character with Ken Wegrzyn about seven years ago, according to GamesBeat, but Lowe said he is not part of the Kickstarter for Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure, despite being prominently portrayed on the page as being involved in the development. Lowe and Trowe just raised more than $670,000 in their own Kickstarter campaign for a Leisure Suit Larry remake.
Lowe responded on the Replay Games blog: "While I am proud of the work I did on Sam Suede back in 2006, when I left the project the game’s design was nearly complete but the text, where the humor lies, was barely started. I not involved in any way with Wisecrack’s current production of Sam Suede. I am currently actively involved with Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded. I also am not personally involved in any legal action against Wisecrack and wish them well implementing my game design without me."
He added that Replay is deciding what action to take, such as a cease and desist order to stop using the Leisure Suit Larry images.
Wisecrack has also responded, saying they feel they are within their legal rights using Lowe's information, which came from his web site with permission, and that according to the U.S. Patent Office, "Replay Games owns neither the trademark nor copyright to Leisure Suit Larry," the company said in a statement to GamesBeat.
The Suede project is a sex farce that depicts Suede as a detective trying to score with the ladies during a mystery fantasy camp. The project has a goal of $500,000.
John Keefer posted a new article, Al Lowe sets legal sites on Sam Suede project.
A new Sam Suede Kickstarter has been launched and it is already getting the some unwanted publicity.
"sites"? I think you mean "sights". Like sights of a gun?.
Wow, he's pretty prominent on the kickstarter page, one could definitely assume he's involved.
yeah they are skating on the edge of the truth. He was involved in creating the character (Sam) years ago, and nothing on their page is untrue, but it heavily implies his current involvement, which I don't think is very cool
This is the 3rd time this game has been announced. I wonder what happened to this:
They have a response to this lawsuit thing in the Kickstarter comments now:
"To further clarify for the Kickstarter community:
iBase Entertainment was formed when Ken Wegrzyn brought Al Lowe out of retirement. As equal partners of iBase Entertainment, they designed Sam Suede together. Al and Ken’s studio spent years on preproduction, engine development, and prototyping for Sam Suede for PC/Xbox, as well as converting for Xbox360, per Microsoft’s request, thus tripling their budget. This extensive work resulted in early gameplay prototypes and a detailed Game Design Document. Together, Al and Ken created an absolutely brilliant game design that has humorous gameplay that has yet to be seen. The game design is extensive enough to create several games if we choose to do so, as it is stipulated in our current contract with Al Lowe.
Ken has attempted to stay with property over the past six years, even during an announcement in 2010 that did not include Al, which Ken did not move forward with. Ken recently formed his new company, Wisecrack Games, based on a new agreement with Al Lowe. Furthermore, Wisecrack’s agreement with Al pre-dates the Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter announcement. When Wisecrack subsequently learned of the Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter from Al, Wisecrack agreed to delay the Sam Suede Kickstarter to allow Leisure Suit Larry to go first.
Al and Ken both agreed to the opening title and the statements made, since this is their design that is being Kickstarted to raise funds for completion. As we agreed with Al, we are staying true to the original design as we move into production, as it should be anyhow for a properly managed development project. We have made the public statement that Al is working on Leisure Suit Larry, since his design work on Sam Suede is complete, and we are ready to start production immediately.
Finally, this Sam Suede project is based on a relationship between Al Lowe and Wisecrack Games and has nothing to do with Replay Games."