Chinese dev sues Fox over allegedly bungled Planet of the Apes tie-in game

Chinese game company Snail Digital filed a lawsuit this week alleging that Fox failed to fulfill its end of a $2.5 million contract to make a game based on the film "War for the Planet of the Apes."

Chinese game company Suzhou Snail Digital Technology Co. filed a lawsuit in California this week against Fox Digital Entertainment, alleging that Fox failed to fulfill its end of a contract with Snail to make a mobile game based on the July film "War for the Planet of the Apes."

For devs, the details of the case shed some light on what the value of a "summer blockbuster" licensing deal might be: Snail claims that it reached a deal with Fox to pay $2.5 million (plus royalties) for the rights to make a mobile game based on the film, with an option to make an augmented-reality game as well.

But since the success of Pokemon Go drove China to effectively put the kibosh on AR games early this year, Snail says it focused on making the mobile game -- only to receive what it claims were insufficient assets and guidance from Fox, which was granted some approval rights over the game by the terms of the contract.

According to court filings retrieved by The Hollywood Reporter, Snail wants Fox to give the money back and pay damages, presumably based on the potential revenues Snail believes it lost by not being able to release the game when the movie debuted this summer.

"Were the Games to be released months, or even weeks after the film, the zeitgeist 'buzz' surrounding the Motion Picture would have died down and the Games may struggle to be relevant, let alone marketable," reads an excerpt of Snail's complaint. "That is why, on information and belief, film-based video games generally are released prior to or concurrently with the films upon which they are based. This is not only the industry standard, it is common sense."

Snail reportedly delivered a prototype version of a "War for the Planet of the Apes" game to Fox in April, only to receive "vague game notes that did not offer Snail Games reasonable sufficient guidance" to bring the game in line with Fox's expectations.

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
Technical Lighting Artist


Hamburg, Germany
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Lead Engineer
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more