Grover Gaming & TNT Settle Hacking Dispute
Grover Gaming and sister affiliate Banilla Games, a South Carolina-based gaming tech and development company, have reportedly now settled out of court its copyright infringement dispute with North Carolina-based competitor TNT Amusements. Grover and Banilla sued TNT Amusements for hacking a series of Grover’s Fusion games before pirating the technology for resale to the open market at prices considerably lower than the original prices charged.
Filed in the U.S. District Court, North Carolina Middle District in June 2019, the lawsuit cited five electronic slot-style games presented in a single gaming cabinet as the games reportedly hacked by TNT Amusements – with the individual titles including Sparky’s Firehouse, Mountain of Fire, Fusion Game, and Crumble Cave. Banilla Games is the official distributor for Grover Gaming.
Pirated Games At Lower Prices
Grover’s Fusion Package, all games of which are created and developed in-house, are licensed mainly to gaming and entertainment businesses operating in Georgia’s coin-operated amusement machines (COAMs) market – machines typically leased to convenience stores and gas stations across the Peach State. Instead of offering cash prizes, COAMs award players with vouchers that can be used to purchase products from the businesses where the cabinets are stationed.
According to the documents filed in the lawsuit, Joshua Askew, who is a former client of Grover Gaming, was approached by a TNT Amusement representative and offered a “copy” of the Fusion Package – but at a reduced rate. The TNT representative reportedly acknowledged to Askew that the games on offer were hacked versions of Grover Gaming’s original titles and series.
But instead of purchasing the games from TNT at the reduced price, Askew, during a visit to TNT’s offices recorded a conversation between himself and a group of representatives from the company. Askew then brought the recording of the representatives trying to sell to him Fusion Packages for $5,000 apiece, along with the packages he had purchased from TNT in order for Grover to establish whether the games were in fact hacked versions of their originals.
The games, discovered Grover, were identical to its own releases.
TNT Amusement Concedes
In its official response filed with the court in January 2020, TNT Amusement denied allegations of copyright infringement, claiming the charge to be redundant because of Grover Gaming not being in possession of intellectual property right (copyright) registration certificates for the games in question.
Grover and Banilla reportedly responded by filing with the court the necessary Certificates of Registration. And though the lawyers for both parties have declined to comment on the outcome of the case, TNT has now reportedly agreed to refrain from distributing Grover Gaming’s software in an illegal manner.