It’s a bad day to be a little yellow sphere that eats dots while wearing a bow. Bandai Namco has filed a lawsuit claiming that AtGames has been producing Ms. Pac-Man cabinets without permission.
The complaint was originally filed on Friday, September 20th, in the state of California. In it, Bandai Namco claims that AtGames had approached them several times to create arcade cabinets based on their classic games. While Bandai Namco allowed some of these cabinets, they had said no to one on Ms. Pac-Man, with part of the reason likely being that Ms. Pac-Man has been in a bit of legal limbo. Bandai Namco already had one problem with AtGames last year, where they claim that AtGames pitched them a Pac-Man product that Bandai Namco claims was “materially different” from what they approved and that it harmed their goodwill.
In August Bandai Namco became aware that, despite being told they weren’t allowed to, AtGames had created a Ms. Pac-Man cabinet, complete with using the copyrighted artwork. In addition to this, Bandai Namco also claims that AtGames was selling the cabinet to retailers claiming it was officially licensed when it really wasn’t. As such, they are now suing for damages.
Twitter user Shaun Musgrave had gotten a hold of the legal document and did note that there are some interesting parts to this. For example, the rights to Ms. Pac-Man are between Bandai Namco and its original developers General Computer Corporation (also known as GCC.) He claims that Bandai Namco is currently in the process of trying to buy the rights from GCC outright. Part of the issue seems to be that AtGames went to GCC on their own, and claims they bought the rights for Ms. Pac-Man to other people who work with the IP, up until Bandai Namco asked at which point AtGames claimed they didn’t buy the rights. Since Bandai Namco can’t figure out if AtGames really did buy the rights or not, they’re bringing them to court.
Do you think AtGames is in the wrong? Or is Bandai Namco suing over nothing? Has anyone asked how Pac-Man feels that someone may be illegally reproducing his wife? Let us know in the comments below!