According to iOS game developer Black Powder Media, Atari is removing games from the App Store (with the help of Apple, of course) that resemble anything from its extensive back catalog of classic games. The company developed a game called Vector Tanks 3, which bears a slight resemblance to Battlezone. Atari has also threatened legal action against iOS developers who are developing games that it deems are rip-offs of its owned IPs.
"Anything that has even a passing resemblance to an Atari classic has been issued a copyright infringement claim," Black Powder Media's Peter Hirschberg told VentureBeat.
The company further alleges that Atari's "special relationship" with Apple has allowed it to pursue developers and have games removed from the App Store with very little resistance from the platform holder.
"So – thanks to their special relationship with Apple – Atari has successfully scrubbed the app store of their perceived competition. It looks as though Apple complied without so much as a rebuttal or independent evaluation," a statement from the company read.
"The cruel irony here is that I tried for years to get ahold of Atari to license their IP but they seemed to have fallen off the planet," adds Hirschberg. "Now this. It's very depressing."
Black Powder Media has removed the game's predecessors – Vector Tanks and Vector Tanks Extreme – from the app store already and plans to alter Vector Tanks 3 to further differentiate it from Atari's game.