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Choose Your Own Adventure Publisher Goes After Indie Devs For Using Its Iconic Phrase

Remember those old Choose Your Own Adventure books? They inspired the video game developers of today to create narratives that players control through choice. Today we found out that the publisher of these oldies but goodies apparently thinks that developers are taking too much inspiration from its books. Publisher Chooseco is issuing takedown notices to devs who use the evidently trademarked phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure" to describe their titles.

Indie game publishing site itch.io is feeling the brunt of this crusade against "choose your own adventure" descriptions, and Itch founder and CEO Leaf Corcoran warned devs that Chooseco was targeting games using the phrase. One such title that has since been taken down is Purrfect Apawcalypse. This punny project's description read, "Purrfect Apawcalypse is an apocalyptic dog dating choose your own adventure game."

Will we never get to choose our own adventure in a dog-themed apocalypse thanks to Chooseco?!

In an interview with USGamer, Corcoran said that he assumed indie devs could just remove the offending phrase from their descriptions in order to remedy this issue of copyright. Chooseco hasn't issued any official statements about the matter, but this is far from the first time the publisher has tried to defend its rights to the "choose your own adventure" phrase.

The hit Netflix Black Mirror series Bandersnatch unmistakably uses the "choose your own adventure" formula. One character even uses the phrase in the show. Chooseco sued Netflix to the tune of $25 million in damages, saying that the dark nature of the episode would tarnish the kid-friendly reputation of the books. Chooseco also alleges that Netflix tried and failed to license the Choose Your Own Adventure name before, later opting to move forward and make a Choose Your Own Adventure story without having secured the rights to do so.

We've yet to see if Chooseco will go after bigger games with well-funded publishers rather than itty bitty indie devs. If it chooses to, that will be one big legal adventure.