You may remember my favorite Tetris clone, Tris, that was released in the App Store in the second week of August. In my opinion, it is the best Tetris clone available, and quite possibly the best free game on the App Store as of this writing. But, that’s not going to last. No, soon it will not be the best free game on the App Store; mostly because it won’t be available.
The developer, Noah Witherspoon, is a college student who received a notice from The Tetris® Company via Apple. I’ll let Noah explain it.
That, I’m afraid, is essentially game over. Do they have a case? No. Not really. I am convinced that if it went to court, the “copyright” claim would get thrown out completely. The trademark, perhaps not — but if I changed the name, to e.g. “Trys”, that would be much harder for them to argue.
Basically, Witherspoon doesn’t have the money to let this go to court, where he is confident he would be able to win the case. He goes on to say that he understands the idea of protecting a brand, but doesn’t respect the way they are going about it, relying entirely upon the fact that he doesn’t have the money to keep the app available.
But, this isn’t completely bad news; at least there’s a little wiggle room. Tris will not be removed from the App Store until Wednesday August 27th. So get it while you still can.
[Update] I just want to make it clear that unless Apple blacklists Tris and pulls the app kill swich, Tris will continue to work as long as you have the app downloaded on your machine. So, if you download the app before it’s pulled on Wednesday, you should be able to install it at any time and continue to enjoy its gameplay for quite some time. To bad this app wasn’t allowed to develop further. Really, The Tetris® Company should do the classy thing here and bring Witherspoon in on their own Tetris dev team for the iPhone.