I want to remake an old multiplayer game in commercial way and I wonder how different my game has to be not to violate some IP rights. I know so far that name and logo are registered trademarks of the company that still exists so I cannot use it. But ...

How about other things such as maps or mechanics of the game? Can this be somehow protected?

If I make a new map that will NOT use a single asset from that old map (like textures, sounds or models) but will mimic the old map as much as possible, can this be problem from legal point of view? By mimic I mean for example putting tree in excactly same position as on the old map, but the tree would be completely different model; buildings would have same plans but all the models and walls textures would be different.

Also this game has some certain amount of features (players classes, mission scenarios, types of weapons) that are being used in other games commonly so this cannot be patented. But how about given set of these features? For example having given types of classes connected with given missions scnarios and types of weapons can be protected even though seperately they cannot be??? Is that possible?


2 Answers 2


Scrabble is a good case study for what is allowed, because there are(were) many clones of it, and Hasbro defends it litigiously.

  • The name of the game or logo, or anything close enough that someone might confuse them, is protected by the trademark
  • The rulebook wording is copyrighted. So is the artwork on the board/box
  • Some of the game design can be covered by copyright. Notably the board layout, letter scoring and letter distributions in clones have been changed after being challenged.
  • The game mechanics are not protected

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexulous

Tldr; don't copy the level design layout exactly, it is covered by copyright, same as the Scrabble board layout.


I'm not a legal expert so obviously don't just take my word on it. If you really are worried, it's best to consult a lawyer.

However, from my knowledge, you can not claim any big idea, method, system, etc. For example, I can create a battle royal game and not have PUBG, Fortnite, etc copyright me as that is a game genre. I can also create a power up system, and not have pac man sue me. I can also have sniper rifles, handguns, swords, etc, as those are general types of weapons and can not be copyrighted. However, I have heard that games change the name and model of specific guns to avoid lawsuits from gun manufactures.

Copyright only protects specific artistic, literary, and musical aspects, such as specific sound effects and music, specific names and in game descriptions, dialogues, etc.

I'd be careful and just move the stuff around a little, as map layout may count as artistic expression, but again, I'm not a lawyer, and I may not even be under the same legal system and laws as you.

Here are some sources that may help.


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