IKEA wants some changes on The Store is Closed.
In recent years, horror games have gotten exceptionally more creative in their settings, placing players in seemingly innocuous situations and locales only to reveal frightening monsters within. One such game is the currently in-development The Store is Closed, an indie horror game set in a furniture department store rather obviously based on an IKEA. Unfortunately, IKEA themselves have voiced some discontent with this.
IKEA’s lawyers have issued a formal Cease & Desist to the game’s lone developer, Jacob Shaw, ordering that aspects of the game be changed to distance it from IKEA branding. This includes the store’s overall color theming, the uniforms worn by the monstrous employees, the layout of the store, and more. Shaw has been given ten days to make these changes.
“You can of course easily make a video game set in a furniture store that does not look like, or suggest, an IKEA store. You can easily make changes to your game to avoid these problems, especially since you do not plan to release the game until 2024,” IKEA’s lawyers said in a letter obtained by Kotaku.
— IGN (@IGN) October 31, 2022
In a follow-up statement, IKEA proper noted that while they appreciate what the game is going for, thematically, it’s not great for their brand image to resemble a store full of bloodthirsty monsters. “While we think it’s flattering that others are inspired by the IKEA brand, we must be diligent to ensure that the IKEA trademarks and trade dress are not misapplied. Various elements of the video game currently correspond in appearance with the IKEA brand features. We’ve reached out to the creator of the video and asked them to make changes to those elements to ensure that this is no longer the case. They expressed that they understand our request and agreed to make those changes. This should all be well in time for the expected 2024 launch of the game.”