Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis was created by Bohemia Interactive in 1997-2001, which it licensed to Codemasters to publish and distribute. Although Codemasters owns the “Operation Flashpoint” trade mark and plans to release its new game under that title, Bohemia Interactive has always owned 100% of the original OFP game. Bohemia also provided gaming community complete set of editing tools and on-going support that turned the original OFP into one of the most modded PC games ever. Codemasters owns only the name – and Bohemia Interactive wants fans to understand that Codemasters’ new game is not from the same development team that brought them the classic original.
“In the license agreement, Bohemia Interactive expressly reserved the exclusive right to develop sequels to the original OFP game,” says Leora Herrmann of Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin, PL in Miami, attorneys for Bohemia Interactive. “Codemasters also acknowledged that Bohemia owns all the intellectual property in the game – except the words ‘Operation Flashpoint’,” adds Herrmann.
“Since Codemasters has no right to use the Bohemia Interactive game engine or any other component of the Bohemia-developed game, how can it rightfully claim to produce a ‘sequel’?” asks Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel.
Because Codemasters owns the trade mark “Operation Flashpoint,” Bohemia Interactive cannot use the name for its own sequels. Instead, ArmA, released in 2007 and already adopted by the modding community, is powered by the second generation of the Bohemia game engine. Bohemia Interactive is currently working on its latest revolutionary re-creation of modern military conflict – ArmA II, due out later this year– which will be powered by the third generation of its engine and is based on the same original design concepts and artistic style of Bohemia Interactive’s legendary releases OFP: Cold War Crisis and OFP: Resistance.
In fact, the ground-breaking game engine that Bohemia Interactive launched initially in OFP: Cold War Crisis has spawned not only ArmA and the upcoming state-of-the-art ArmA II, but in its most sophisticated incarnation to date also powers Bohemia Interactive’s VBS combat training simulators used by armed forces around the world, including the recently announced Game After Ambush training program for the US Army.
“We can’t stop Codemasters from releasing a game using the words ‘Operation Flashpoint,’” acknowledged Spanel. “But it is not right to promote this game as the ‘official sequel to the multi-award winning Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis’ or the ‘return’ of Bohemia Interactive’s ‘genre-defining military conflict simulator.’ The awards were given for the game created by Bohemia Interactive - not to a name.”
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