SCEA, David Jaffe Face Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
When something gets to be as big as God of War, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the pie. And if you claim that it was your original material that found its way into the series, you're obviously seeking reimbursement...as unlikely as copyright infringement may seem in this case.
According to GamePolitics, Sony Computer Entertainment America and well-known developer David Jaffe (now heading up his own studio, Eat Sleep Play), have been sued in the U.S. District Court in California for "alleged copyright infringement" in regards to the critically acclaimed GoW franchise. Filed in February, plaintiffs Jonathan Bissoon-Dath and Jennifer Barrette-Herzog say their work may have been the inspiration behind the conception of God of War. Bissoon-Dath says he's "the author of a series of related works of fiction, including Olympiad, a screenplay." Barrette-Herzog says she created "Island at the Edge of the Living World," and both claim they sent their work to Sony Pictures as well as some talent agents who frequently work with SCEA. This happened in 2002, and because it has been said that GoW took 3 years to develop (it released in 2005), the timing seems about right for their case.
Not only this, but the two plaintiffs go so far as to say that GoW "shares elements of plot, character relationships, themes, settings, mood, pace and dialogue" with their work. If you want to see the full legal listing, feel free. On August 29, SCEA and Jaffe filed their responses, which basically say no such copyright infringement took place. Thing is, an artist's inspiration can come from any number of things; maybe Jaffe looked at a cover of a book of Greek mythology somewhere and a light bulb went on. Is it possible he saw the work of the plaintiffs and just decided to use it without permission? It seems highly unlikely. We're calling bogus on this one. How many Greek mythology-related stories are out there? Eight quadra-zillion?
9/18/2008 Ben Dutka