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AntJR's avatar

Accidentally gave my Game Idea to someone....?

Asked by AntJR (131points) June 29th, 2013

I typed a document that has a very detailed description of a game I’ve been developing in my head for about 4–5 years. It mentioned the setting(it has a very unique setting for a video game series), the battle system, full character descriptions(even how boss battles will play out for each character), and major plot elements…pretty much every idea I’ve had for the game up until now; it was about 20 pages long. It even included a general description of the whole series.

I live in New York and I went to college with the guy, but he moved to California. He works in Film, but he also showed an interest in video games and says hes been to a couple game studios in the past.

Its only a paper copy, so I asked him to shred it, burn it, or tear it up. After 4 straight weeks of him ignoring my calls and texts, he finally answers me but blows up at me saying that he apparently did what I asked…I really want to believe him….but based on his actions when I tried to contact him about it, Im not completely sure…

I registered the game for copyright recently, but its been at least a month since I gave it to him….

I’m not sure what I was thinking….am I screwed….?

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You were protected by copyright even before you registered it, but you will have to go after him if he attempts to produce it. Did you show it to anyone else before you sent it to him? Have them write down that they saw it and the date and time. Do you have a date stamped copy on your computer?

You could send him a non-disclosure agreement after the fact, but I doubt he will sign it.

AntJR's avatar

@marinelife I have most of those things already, but a non-disclosure agreement might help :)

AntJR's avatar

Also…what could I do if he steals it but makes a film or a tv show of it instead (takes the idea but puts it in a different media)?

marinelife's avatar

You could still show that he stole your idea in court because of the similarities.

AntJR's avatar

@oh, ok, so the use of different media would not lessen my chances of proving that it belongs to me, thanks! :)

marinelife's avatar

You’re welcome. Welcome to Fluther!

_Whitetigress's avatar

He could do your video game and call it his own, because it’s his own doing. You can’t call “first” and copyright the idea and not have it produced. That’s absurd.

Furthermore he could change the scenarios and it would be his own ideas. If he said he’s done with it and has shredded it I don’t think you should worry. Are you screwed? No. Are you getting Mark Zuckerberg’d? That remains to be unseen.

You had better get to putting your idea to good use instead of leaving it in “heresays” world.

AntJR's avatar

@_Whitetigress you can copyright something without it being produced, it would be classified as an unpublished work.

AntJR's avatar

but yeah, I see what youre saying.

marinelife's avatar

If your idea is written down it is protected.

gorillapaws's avatar

I really wouldn’t worry much. Game companies aren’t hurting for ideas, there are thousands of talented people in the industry all with awesome ideas. There is only so much manpower and resources to invest in game development—not to mention they don’t want to flood the market and compete with themselves.

Ideas are a dime/dozen. It’s the successful execution of the idea that’s difficult and valuable.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@AntJR Now you can really see what I’m saying.

Create your video game now. Before yours becomes the rip off story of his if he’s even making it.

Or plan for a new career like these twins did

Don’t get Zuckerberged

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