Archive

Archive for November, 2009

Sales +4779! Trademark Disputes +1!

November 12, 2009 23 comments

In the last article we spoke in some depth about order numbers, it’s a little dry but there’s no doubt that it’s another facet in the world of EDGE Games that needs making public. Today we’ll try to bounce off some of that order number banter with news on EDGE Games’ latest legal hunt (So skip to the end if your eyes can’t take it).

First here’s a quick list of all the games EDGE have sold (possibly in years):

1001 – 09/01/09  – Mythora – To ChaosEdge
1002 – 09/29/09 – Mythora / Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge — Order Cancelled and Refunded
1003 (3462) – 09/30/09 – RACERS – To ChaosEdge
1004 – 10/31/09 – Mythora – To ChaosEdge – Order Cancelled and Refunded
5783 – 11/09/09 – RACERS / Mythora – To ChaosEdge
5784 – 11/09/09 – Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge
5785 – 11/10/09 – Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge

We won’t even send a bill for doing the accounts book, that’s how nice we really are.

So as you can see there’s a bit of an oddity with those sales numbers. Sure we might not be the only ones buying from the world famous, all original and founder of our beloved industry publisher (That’s EDGE Games if you hadn’t guessed), but some how we seriously doubt that.

In the last article we had gone as far as making order 1004, which was cancelled by Langdell and refunded as “out of stock”. At which point all the store items were set as “out of stock” or “on back order” meaning that NO purchases at that time could be made.

On 9th November Langdell ‘reopened’ and the store began offering items for sale again, so we did a test purchase.

Look at the order number, 5783. Does this mean that in the few hours the store was open Langdell received 4779 orders?

We contacted SmartCart about how the order number system worked.

“We can update the starting invoice number at no additional charge.”

Based on this reponse and past evidence where Langdell tried to claim order 1003 was “a system error” and meant to be 3462 and based on past performance of the store where nobody was buying items except ChaosEdge, this high order number is unlikely to be accurate.

But we need evidence to support this ‘no ones buying’ claim, so the next day another test purchase was made resulting in:

Even though the purchases are nearly a day apart the order number is only one higher, so no other purchases were made in that 24 hours, where as Langdell claims that thousands were made in much less a period of time only the day before.

All in all, this supports the case that Langdell got the order number altered to show a higher number than he has actually sold items for.

To really confirm though we needed another day to test this again:

No surprise, the order number is 5785, one higher than the previous day.

Of course pigs could well be flying here and we could be wrong, but obviously we’ll await that verdict, perhaps when Langdell has to show his tax records in proof that his company is a world class publisher of MODERN GAMES on MODERN PLATFORMS …

One more time for the people: EDGE Games have NEVER published or developed a game on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.

So beyond the order number banter we promised some info into Langdell’s next possible move in the world of trademark trappings and nefarious shenanigans.

Recently, very recently in fact, the EDGE Games website was updated with a whole new range of products. And these aren’t the type that were made by other people and heavy handedly threatened into a licence agreement, but are in fact totally original products that even have that special EDGE Games vibe about them, you know the thing, they look like they’ve been knocked up in Microsoft Paint.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to present to you: THE EDGE(R) MEMORY!

Oh the excitement, USB and SD memory cards! We can’t wait to get out hands on those

Shame.

So maybe these products are the idea of branching out into new realms now that the gaming industry has become sour to the worlds most famous publisher that no one has heard of.

Of course not.

This latest move is part of a battle against computer memory company Edge Tech Corp, a company that Landell has been in trademark wranglings with for much of this year. Yes, that’s another company and another trademark dispute.

Langdell’s dispute has been the usual complaints of customer confusion. We’re sure his inbox has been filled a hundred times over with baffled punters saying that they looked on the wrong site when trying to purchase MIRRORS.

That’s not all, as there’s also been talk of lost sales, all those folks that visited the Edge Tech site by mistake and couldn’t find MIRRORS, ended up buying a few flash sticks, OBVIOUSLY. As you can tell Langdell was furious at these lost imaginary sales, but even he’s not stupid enough to try and challenge the fact that he lost sales to products he doesn’t sell.

So how did he go about fixing that problem?

More than Games

Snippet from Letter to Trademark Attorney

He updated his website and began to sell memory cards, thus creating confusion, or so he thinks.

“In short, the marks are identical (THE EDGE) and the goods are identical”, no Langdell what you meant to say was “I looked at their website and using Microsoft Paint, I stuck my logo on to some generic memory sticks and then uploaded them to my website”.

UPDATE:

File Listing

A little more proof to show that Langdell fabricated these memory card images only the day before sending out the legal letter to show that EDGE Games sells the products. As you can see at the right of both the images (One image for each memory card) the date of uploading is 5th November 2009, and the letter sent out (See above image) was stamped as 6th November 2009.

 

So we’d like to wish Edge Tech Corp all the best in this trademark wrangle, we’re behind you all the way.

We can’t end this article without showing just how the game industry community is reacting to Langdell’s trademark ways: ATOMIC EDGE GAMES

Let’s thank Langdell, no really, we should thank him, because it’s times like these that really draw folk together. Who’d have thought the day would arise when Indie’s the world over would be coming together alongside the likes of EA? That’s the power of this event and it’s a nice way to look at a brighter side of all this negativity.

Categories: 1

Video Games Killed the Racing Star

November 7, 2009 31 comments

It’s been a while since we last made a post here at ChaosEdge, the last one you might remember was of great joy, as Mobigame’s award winning title Edge made its way back onto the Apple App store. This post however is more in tune with what ChaosEdge is now so used to writing. More tales from the wild world of Edge Games and their seemingly never ending work to try and make a mockery out of our beloved industry.

With so much going on it’s hard to know where to start. We’re sure that most people want to know about EDGE Games’ latest release RACERS. It’s been almost two months now since its release date, we’d like to thank you for your patience in waiting so long.

RACERS was first announced on the Edge Games website a few months ago. The announcement was soon updated with an actual release date 09/09/09 as well as it’s very own website (which sloppily hasn’t been updated to show that the game is now out). We covered some background information about RACERS in a earlier post.

As you may remember we missed the boat when the game was first released on 09/09/09, that was when the entire stock of the game managed to sell out between the order numbers 1001 and 1002, so we had to sit and wait to see if it was ever going to return to the store.

Luckily September proved to be a fun month, what with the news of EA stepping in to take a hold of the whole Trademark ownership part of the fight giving us the legal grunt and raw power of hard cash to finally put a rest to EDGE Games’ constant wailing of ownership over their precious words… If the trademarks were a ring eh ;)

On the 30/09/09 RACERS reappeared! Back in stock and ready to buy. And buy we did. We were not willing to give this game another chance to slip out of our grasp.

Invoice 1003

After the order was made we patiently waited for a confirmation, but nothing came. Over ten days passed we received no response, no shipment date, nothing. It was starting to sound like Order 1002, which hasn’t been spoken about on here, but it took some involvement of PayPal to even get a response from EDGE Games. It would be good to tell the story about order 1002 one day, it’s quite the interesting adventure in its own rights.

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 08:34:01 -0700
Subject: Order #1003, Racers
From: XXXX XXXX
To: Edge Sales <sales@edgegames.com>

Dear Edge Sales,

I ordered “Racers” on September 30th, Order #1003, ID XXXXXXXXXX, for XXXX XXXX. Two weeks have now passed.

I have still not received the game, or any indication it has shipped, or any reason why not. Please can you let me know when I will receive this game. If I don’t hear from you today, I shall be forced to lodge a complaint with PayPal.

Regards,

XXXX XXXX

Another week went by without a response. It seemed that EDGE Games were more than happy to take our cash, but they certainly didn’t want to part with their precious game (There’s that word again, can’t shake the image now).

So we looked to get some help from PayPal by sending them a message regarding a possible fraudulent sales case.

A few days after, we finally receive contact from EDGE Games’ sales department, commonly known as Tim Langdell to most people.

From: “Edge Sales” <sales@edgegames.com
To: “XXXX XXXX”
Subject: Re: Order #1003, Racers
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:15:22 -0700

Dear XXXX XXXX,

You should have received an automated system message informing you about this shipment. We apologize if you did not. A software error was detected in the launch version of the game you ordered. This caused your shipment to be delayed while the error was corrected. The error was corrected and the game is currently being reproduced. Your copy should be shipped to you shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Edge Games Sales

Thankful to finally hear from them, but still skeptical about the order, we mailed a response asking for an exact shipment date; all the time keeping the case open with PayPal in order to protect our backs. PayPal stated that EDGE had to respond by the 29th. The race was on, we waited for either PayPal to refund us or for EDGE to ship the game.

From: service@paypal.com
To: XXXX@XXXXX.XXX
Subject: Resolution of Your Case: #XX-XXX-XXX

Hello XXXX XXXX,

We have concluded our investigation into your case and have decided in your favor.

We were able to recover $32.00 USD and this amount has been credited to you. Please allow five business days for this adjustment to be posted.

If you are due any additional funds, we will make our best effort to recover the balance from the seller.

If the seller’s account has insufficient funds to complete the refund owed to you, please be assured that we will take appropriate action against the seller’s account, which may include limitation of the seller’s account privileges.

———————————–
Transaction Details
———————————–

Seller’s Name: Edge Games Inc
Seller’s Email: payments@edgegames.com
Seller’s Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Transaction Date: Sep 30, 2009
Transaction Amount: -$32.00 USD
Your Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Case Number: #XX-XXX-XXX
Buyer’s Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

So PayPal didn’t like the lack of communication and decided that EDGE Games were acting fraudulently.

Case over then, money returned, no RACERS, no fun new game to play…

From: “Edge Sales” <sales@edgegames.com>
To: “XXXX XXXX”
Subject: Re: Order #1003, Racers
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 07:43:12 -0700

XXXX XXXX,

your order #3462 (“Racers”) shipped on 10/30/09. Here is your tracking number 8664 7599 7848
Our apologies again for the time it took to get the new shipment of this product in stock.

Edge Sales

WHAT? So we’re getting the game as well as the refund?!?! It’s like Christmas.

Finally on the 2nd November the shipment arrived

Box and invoice

Here’s a close up of the invoice:

Invoice 1003

#2 Original order number 1003 was a system error?

Was it now? So Tim (Bored of calling him EDGE Games for now) claims that our order number of 1003 should have actually been 3462. Is that a claim that 2461 (order start at 1001) games have been sold on the EDGE Store since the start of September and somehow Smart Cart (That we’ve tested out ourselves) messed up and produced the wrong order number. We find that hard to swallow. So hard in-fact that we had to make sure, if our last order was 3462, then if we made another one it would be 3463, correct?

Order 1004

Of course not it’s 1004. Tim doesn’t sell games. That’s a fact. So far his store has made four orders, all to ChaosEdge and all part of our research into showing exactly who EDGE Games are and what they do. Despite the huge amount of publicity EDGE Games have found themselves getting over the past few months, no one has purchased a game from his store. How’s about that for a world famous publisher.

Despite all that, we finally have RACERS in our hands. So let’s take a look and see what it’s all about.

Cover

Click Image for Bigger Version

The game arrived in a black DVD case much like Mythora; however, this one came shrink wrapped, always a great sign of a world class publisher.

The inlay, exquisitely printed using what has to be one of the most wonderfully average home inkjet printers, comes with a fine smattering of TMs and (R)s. We have the classics like EDGE(R), Gamer’s Edge(R) and THE EDGE, as well as some that haven’t really been thrown around all that much before Magic Edge(R) EDGE NET.

It’s hard not to love the random and oh so weak selling points: ‘Variety of power-ups’ Tell us more Tim, ‘Numerous Achievements’ We’re reaching for our wallet, please continue, ‘Will you become … the ultimate SPACE RACER!’ Shit, yea! You’ve sold us, an exclamation mark, the ellipsis. We need this game … !

DVD

The disc for Mythora was a home brew burned CD-R, but for RACERS Tim’s stepped up the pace as this game ships on a DVD-R! Still made on a home PC complete with a wonderful Inkjet label, but not just any label, this one that reaches the EDGE of the disc, which looks like an obvious ploy to try and hide the fact that the game comes on a DVD-R.

DVD Close up (RiData)

However, for all its crudeness and sub-skilled efforts in producing a boxed copy of the game, the real shocker is that we believe EDGE Games does have a deal to publish this game. The IBA Group, developers of the product are still very much alive and running and have made no move to stop the game from being released.

We can only presume that when Lexicon Entertainment the original publisher of the game went bump around the end of 2008, IBA Group were left with a game on their hands that they’d funded, developed and were expecting to release in hope to recoup their costs. Without a publisher this couldn’t happen.

Around this time we guess that Tim stepped in with his promise of worldly riches. We’re betting that in his sales pitch he spoke about how EDGE Games is one of the oldest publishers in the world, about how EDGE Games was once SEGA of Europe, how the company has produced over 750 games, is world famous, launched the well known Edge Magazine, published comic books, endorsed films, produced PC hardware, licensed console peripherals. What’s the betting that during this sales pitch he spoke of developing for the PS3, 360, Wii and DS as well?

We’d like to offer any future developers thinking of doing work for EDGE Games our own version of a more truthful EDGE Games sales pitch:

EDGE Games have NEVER published or developed a game on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.

EDGE Games operates from a mail box – The big three hardware manufacturers don’t grant the right for developers or publishers to work on their consoles without a registered office.

EDGE Games have NOT produced comic books

EDGE Games have NOT published over 750 Games (The number is actually around 74, nearly all of which were in the 1980’s)

EDGE Games have NOTHING to do with the magazine Edge (Future publishing)

EDGE Games have NO TV Crossover projects in the pipeline

EDGE Games DO NOT produce PC Hardware or Wii Peripherals

EDGE Games was NEVER SEGA of Europe (They converted and published Alien Syndrome in 1988 under licence from SEGA, that doesn’t make them anything more than a 1980’s developer/publisher)

EDGE Game DO Steal peoples work from places such as Deviantart

EDGE Has a history of NOT paying developers for work [1] [2]

One Rodney Matthews, respected artist and designer of video game company logos for Travellers Tales, Bizzare Creations and musician Rick Wakeman, gave us this statement regarding EDGE Games ability to kindly pay for work carried out.

Dear XXXX XXXX,

Thank you for your email concerning the ‘Edge’ logo and Tim Langdell.

Indeed, I can confirm that Langdell personally commissioned the logo design and artwork from me and used it, but did not pay my invoice. Neither did he return to me the original artwork as he had agreed to do.

I tried repeatedly to contact him on both accounts only to be ignored. He ultimately became untraceable.

I am extremely surprised to hear that he has been trusted with a position of authority. [IGDA Director]

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Matthews.

Let’s get back to RACERS

Platforms

EDGE Games clearly state on their website that they’re producing a PS3, 360 and Wii version of the game. We here at ChaosEdge are excited to see how the one man band is proposing to successfully deliver a legally signed PS3 Blu-Ray disc from a home DVD burner. You see real publishers that do real publishing have real offices, work with real production plants and distribution centres, employ real marketing teams and real aftercare services. They do not produce games burned on home DVD burning equipment, with box covers printed on home inkjet printers, they certainly don’t email zipped games to customers (Just another little hint regarding order 1002).

PS3

The console manufacturers simply won’t deal with a home office setup, this fact has been the annoyance of indie developers the world over but sadly it’s a fact. It’s possible to develop titles for the Xbox 360 using the XNA suite, but they can only be released via digital download under the appropriately named Indie Games banner and only offer restricted access to the hardware, preventing any home setup from making the next Gears of War.

So we sit and wait to see how RACERS takes to the next stage, we certainly hope that EDGE Games haven’t falsely lead IBA Group on in pretending to be anything more than a one man company who’s day job is a lecturer.

But why has Tim released the title RACERS? Why not SHOOTERS or JUMPERS or KICKERS? Well we touched upon this in our earlier post regarding the game. It seems that Tim’s reason for wanting to release RACERS is two-fold, the first is to try and show the courts that EDGE Games is something more than a trademark hunting outfit by making an attempt to sell games. The second reason is because of titles such as Killer Edge Racing, by Nalin Sharma, which is currently selling on the iPhone app store.

UPDATE: No sooner do we post this story, only to discover that Killer Edge Racing has been taken off the App store. Our thoughts go out to Nalin, who, as you’ll see as you continue to read this article has every right to sell the game on the iPhone. Anger is brewing now, so we’ll leave this update short. Please continue to read on, and we hope that the points made show you how truly messed up this situation has become.

Killer Edge

Just as history repeats itself, Tim has again written a letter to Apple, making claim that Killer Edge Racing is actually trying to trade off of EDGE Games strong brand (“What brand?” the crowd call out).

The letter, makes for quite a read, sitting well within the typical M.O we expect to see from Tim these days.

IntroQuite the title eh?

Waffle

“As well as being a well known developer and publisher of games on all formats” We’ve already shown how this line is a big old bag of lies previously in this article, but let’s do it again just to make sure everyone is clear: EDGE Games have NEVER developed or published games on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, GameboyAdvance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.

Continuing the charade he states “the EDGE brand is extremely well known for its other game products and services such as EDGE game PC’s (on sale at BestBuy, Staples and elsewhere), THE EDGE game controllers (also on sale in BestBuy and elsewhere) and so on”. Again, ChaosEdge has already researched and posted on this site that those links are tenuous at best, where any connection between the products and EDGE Games comes from legal threats and demands just like the one we’re quoting this very information from.

This part is interesting:

Blah

Is that statement claiming that Killer Edge Racing was produced BECAUSE EDGE Games were releasing RACERS? Langell certainly hasn’t done his homework here, because there was no mention of RACERS coming before 2009 and we know for a fact that RACERS was previously developed under the name Voltage, to be published by Lexicon until late 2008, whereas Killer Edge was originally developed during 2004 and first shown on public display in 2005 at the World Mobile Congress. But as always don’t let facts get in the way of a good trademark trolling session.

Apple seem to be quickly becoming a tool in Langdell’s arsenal, so far he has succeeded twice in getting them to remove Mobigame’s Edge title from their store, and he hasn’t stopped there. After Edge’s recent release on the App store, again Langdell has seen it fit to send Apple a letter requesting its removal, despite the fact that its title is now called ‘Edge by Mobigame’. It seems that you’re either licensed by him or against him in this world, there’s little in-between.

Sadly Langdell isn’t the only one that’s discovered the trick of using Apple to remove the competition from the App store. Side stepping the whole EDGE Games set of shenanigans for a moment we’d like to show you another case of Apple’s dispute policy abuse. Recently Stoneloops! of Jurrasica was taken off the App store after a request from a rival company was sent to Apple, making what seemed to be unsupported allegations of code theft, design theft as well as other claims of infringement. It’s an interesting story and deserves your attention.

Apple need to really take a grip of their dispute policy here, its far too open to abuse and their decisions are clearly being made without proper investigation or requirement of solid facts.

Returning to Killer Edge Racing, it’s clear to us now that RACERS is a tool in Langdell’s trademark arsenal and he wants Killer Edge Racing either as his own or gone for good. Sending a letter to Apple isn’t his only aggressive tactic employed because he’s also gone and filed to register the… drum roll … Trademark!

Trademark

Trademark

You’ll have to bear with us on this journey now as we’re going to step through this trademark explaining each point on the way.

This isn’t as clear cut as it usually is. The trademark has been registered under the company name of EDGE RACING, not EDGE Games or The EDGE or any other usual moniker of Tims.

First we’ll look at the address, not the usual mail box we’re used to seeing (70 South Lake Avenue Pasadena, CA), but believe us, this is still a mail box. In fact why not have a photo of the place to help set the scene.

Postal Place

So if this isn’t Tim’s usual mail box, then how do we know the Trademark is registered by him? Well, like those criminal types in old episodes of Columbo, there’s always a trail left behind. In this case we need to look at Tim’s other ventures to help us, one particular in fact: Langdell Brown Associates, the failed venture from 2005.

Langdell Brown

Notice that the address is almost the same, the only difference is that the suite, or mail box to us common folk is different, 1170 instead of 1700.

So we’re close now, but not 100% bullet proof, we need more evidence to tie this trademark to Tim.

Jen Smith

Going back to the registration we see that Tim hasn’t signed his name, instead we have the name Jen Smith. Not one that’s ever cropped up before, but that shouldn’t stop us. We need to finish this and click the pieces in place.

Jen Smith UKContinuing the hunt we find the UK government trademark website contains an entry for Killer Edge Racing. It also contains key information, Edge Racers and Jen Smith, but more importantly BAIAS Ltd. based in a virtual office in London (Kinda like a mail box, but a bit more fancy)

BAIAS

Those of you not familiar with the BAIAS, or to give it the full title British Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, need only to look at the bottom line on the webpage to see what kind of thing we’re talking about here.

BAIAS

The BAIAS is an awards program set up by Tim, we’ve never heard of it hosing any shows nor do we know any developers that are members. It was first referenced on the now deleted wikipedia entry for Tim Langdell (The one written by his wife Cheri). Thankfully there’s a copy available here if you’d like to read it.

The name may sound familiar to you, but that probably more to do with the fact that it sounds a lot like The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, heck even the domain names are closely matched http://www.interactive.org/ (Real) and http://www.interactive.org.uk/ (Tim’s imaginary version). Anyway, we’re not here to talk about academies, real or not, we’re here to link Tim to the trademark Killer Edge Racing.

US Address

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like for you to take a look at the US address registered for the BAIAS: 269 S Beverly Drive, Suite 1700, Beverly Hills, CA.

Let us remind ourselves of the address on the trademark.

Trademark

There we have it, proof that the suite (Mail box) that is used for Tim’s fictional Academy is the very same one used for the registration of the trademark. There’s no more coincidence, no loose links, that’s the real deal. Tim isn’t just attacking Killer Edge Racing by writing letters filled with false statements to Apple, but he’s also trying to block Nalin’s title by registering the trademark.

So there we have another episode in the crazy world of EDGE Games. As always there’s much more to tell, but we’ll have to save that for another day.

Let’s leave this piece with a look back to how a couple of Spectrum developers talked about their feelings of Langdell and Softek (The early name for EDGE Games) back in 1984 in an hidden easter egg found in the game Dark Star

Dark Star

Categories: 1
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.