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I'm currently developing an idea for a conquest-style board game similar to Risk. I was wondering if I would be legally entitles to use some game mechanics that appear in that game so long as I don't use Risk's title or logo or anything.


marked as duplicate by Vaillancourt, Josh Feb 17 '16 at 4:42

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is an important question that people clearly don't know the real answer to. Whereas the linked question is about games in general this one is about the age old classic, RISK, so it is not a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 17 '16 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ People do know the answer to this in general; it's answered in the linked duplicate. We don't need one of these questions for every game in the world, and we're not qualified (or interested in) cataloguing the specific legal minefields surrounding individual games in any event. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Feb 17 '16 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Really it should be moved to law or patents stackexchange, where the folks are much better versed in this sort of stuff, but in general you cannot market the exact same game rules with a different "skin". If you like certain elements from another game use them, but modify them. \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 17 '16 at 7:28


Game mechanics cannot be copyrighted, so using the Risk gameplay ideas should not be a problem. Obviously, you can't use the name Risk because that is trademarked.

That being said, I am not a lawyer. You should avoid copying exact rules or procedures from Risk as you risk (pun intended) running afoul of copyright issues.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You should be aware though that sometimes game mechanics can be patented. See Can game mechanics be patented? on the patents exchange site. \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 17 '16 at 2:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Octopus The link you point to says "Hasbro dropped their lawsuit against the makers of Scrabulous after they agreed to change the name and the rules of the game, by increasing the number of letter tiles that each player receives from 7 to 8.". Copying all the game mechanics is a thing, using some game mechanics is another thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 17 '16 at 3:22

Yes. There is no harm to use game-mechanics of any one. Even a good mechanics may become a complete genre on which world can run after for at least 6 month :)

For examples you may have a look on ZigZag, Temple Run or Subway Surfers, Air Hockey and so on...

So in short, YES you can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The question was about Risk(TM). \$\endgroup\$ – Octopus Feb 17 '16 at 3:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not the representative of Risk. My answer is general. \$\endgroup\$ – Hamza Hasan Feb 17 '16 at 3:16

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