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This Mobile Dev Got The Full Wrath Of Nintendo's Lawyers

Japanese developer Colopl created "Shironeko Project" with a vision of a one-handed mobile game. Players can move, attack, and cast all with just one finger, thus its advertisement as a "one-finger RPG." Unfortunately, this seemingly unique concept overstepped a boundary when it came to one of Nintendo's patents. 

As explained by to Kotaku, the major games publisher slapped Colopl with a $42 million lawsuit back in December 2017. Nintendo accused the mobile developer of violating five of its patents with "Shironeko Project" — most notably, one that was tied to its Nintendo DS Wrist Strap controls. "Shironeko Project" uses a "Punicon" mechanic, which allows players to drag their fingers over the touchscreen and tap to attack. Nintendo claimed that the joystick motion mimicked the mechanics of a part of its wrist strap patent. 

Nintendo originally asked for $42 million in its initial lawsuit. However, the company later increased the demand to $47 million, since Colopl apparently continued to infringe on the patents during the time the two companies were negotiating the settlement. Industry analyst Serkan Toto noted that Nintendo's demands then increased even more, nearly doubling the amount to $92 million. So how did this end up working out Colopl?

How much Colopl paid in the end

Finally, the five-year feud has ended. Colopl agreed to pay $30 million to Nintendo in a statement released on August 4, 2021. It's a hefty fee, but it still seems like a steal compared to the looming $92 million bill it faced earlier this year.

It seems that Colopl negotiated this settlement because of the rising costs hovering over the company's head. "The Company determined that it would be best to resolve the matter as soon as possible through a settlement," Colopl wrote in its settlement notice.

Colopl might not be as big as Nintendo, but it's successful enough to have clients such as Disney paying up for its mobile games. Still, the company claimed that it would suffer "extraordinary losses" in its third quarter because of the payout. However, Colopl predicted that the settlement would have "no impact on the Company's consolidated business results for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021 and beyond."

Basically, don't mess with Nintendo. It may be the maker of many beloved franchises, but it's also fiercely protective of its IP. In the past, Nintendo has sued streamers for copyright violations and destroyed bootleg sites distributing pirated versions of its games. Colopl is just the most recent company to face the wrath of Nintendo's lawyers.