Japanese company SNK Playmore has filed a lawsuit against Square Enix for stealing its characters without seeking prior permission.
What did they want the characters for? An obscure manga entitled “Hi Score Girl” – a manga which heavily references 90’s era arcade games – in particular fighting games. Amongst more popular and famous franchises such as the Street Fighter franchise were characters from King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown – whose copyright belongs to SNK.
Osaka district police raided the Square Enix offices on August 5, seizing a variety of materials as well as arresting and interrogating the creater of the manga – Rensuke Oshikiri. Whilst the instances of infringement total over 100, SNK was only made aware of the use of their intellectual property when an animation company approached them to request the use of their characters in the recently approved anime adaptation of the manga.
Square Enix did not respond to any formal request by SNK to discuss the use of their character. Details of what they stole, what further action is to be taken against Square and what was seized in the raid have not been released.