Update: Al Lowe issued the following statement, noting that he will not sure Wisecrack Games and that he did in fact give the company permission to use his name:
"I want to clarify with the media, the public, and the Kickstarter community what’s been in the press lately about my relationship with Wisecrack Games. I have no intention of suing Wisecrack, which has my permission to use my name and likeness regarding my involvement with Sam Suede.
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 [was] 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."
Thanks to Reginald Charming for the tip.
Original Story: Al Lowe's Replay Games is so upset with Wisecrack Games over its crowdfunded project Sam Suede that it plans to sue them for copyright infringement. Sam Suede In Undercover Exposure is an adventure game from Wisecrack Games that Al Lowe once contributed to. The developers are looking to raise $500,000 to get the game to market, but they are dropping Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe's name as being associated with the project on the site and in its pitch video. The lawsuit will be filed in Texas.
This is not sitting well with Replay Games. Replay Games is saying that Al Lowe worked on that IP seven years ago, but has nothing to do with the current development. In fact they are so upset about it that they want the project shut down.
"I think the blatant misuse of the Leisure Suit Larry name and copyrighted material shows clear disregard for copyright law," Reply founder Paul Trowe told GamesBeat.
"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."
Replay Games recently raised nearly $674,000 for a new Leisure Suit Larry game via Kickstarter. Despite the threat of a lawsuit, Wisecrack Games maintains that it is not doing anything wrong by using Al Lowe's name because he did work on it.
"Wisecrack Games has not infringed or otherwise violated any rights of Replay Games," said Wisecrack via an official statement. "Wisecrack's references to Al Lowe's accomplishments, including his work on the Leisure Suit Larry series, are truthful, come directly from Mr. Lowe's website with his permission pursuant to a written agreement, and constitute de minimis and fair uses under applicable law."
Wisecrack also claims that because Replay doesn't own the trademark or copyright for Leisure Suit Larry a lawsuit would have no merit.
"As Kickstarter fans are aware, Al is currently working on Leisure Suit Larry. The references to Al Lowe's extensive work with Ken Wegrzyn on the design of Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure is truthfully stated and a historical fact," the statement continued. "The original design and prototyping have been completed by Al and Ken, as well as a written agreement with Al Lowe for the Sam Suede in Undercover Exposure Kickstarter with Wisecrack Games. Upon completion of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wisecrack Games moves into full production to complete the game."
We will have more on this story as it develops but mark this down as history: the very first Kickstarter-related video game lawsuit.
Source: GamesIndustry International