NetEnt and ReePlay enter agreement to settle Infinity Reels vs InfiniReels case
When we published the review of NetEnt’s Gods of Gold INFINIREELS, it raised more than a few eyebrows and sparked a debate across the casino community. Granted, we were as confused as anyone else. Had this cool game mechanic gone on export in the same way as Megaways? It seemed to make sense, sort of. After all, what are the odds that NetEnt would come up with an almost identical game mechanic with an almost identical name out of chance.
In our review of Gods of Gold, we wrote: “In a twist, their latest slot Gods of Gold comes with a mechanic that looks a lot like the Infinity Reels mechanic that debuted in Aussie developer ReelPlay’s El Dorado slot. In fact, the similarities are so striking that it’s even hard to tell them apart by name.”
It started to seem more and more like NetEnt had pulled a fast one and straight out ripped ReelPlay off. But then we did some digging and managed to find out that a trademark was filed by NetEnt for INFINIREELS on September 19, 2019 with application number 018126343 – some 2 months prior to ReelPlay’s release of their first Infinity Reels slot El Dorado Infinity Reels.
Although you could always use the Infinite Monkey Theorem as an argument, it still seems highly unlikely that two identical game mechanics with similar news would turn up like this by chance. Therefore, our conclusion, for what it’s worth, there’s probably a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than we will ever know.
In any case, NetEnt and ReelPlay have now entered into an agreement which “will strengthen their rights associated with their respective trademarks”. The press release doesn’t give us all that many details, but continues with;
Under the terms of the agreement both parties will work together to extend and protect their respective franchises of Infinity Reels and InfiniReels.
“In light of both companies independently following similar ideas, it made sense for us to come together to reinforce our unique propositions in a highly competitive market. I would like to commend and thank ReelPlay for their innovative approach and for working together with us in these dynamic times” said Bryan Upton, Director Games at NetEnt.
David Johnson, Chief Commercial Officer at Reelplay said “We are happy to have agreed a collaboration with an established, global pioneer such as NetEnt.”
Although just speculation, comparing the muscles of the two companies, one could assume that ReelPlay was the one that had to back down to NetEnt’s demands. After all, the highly innovative and popular mechanic that’s already been put to use twice by ReelPlay has to be their biggest and single most important invention coming from a relatively small studio, and something they probably would not gladly give up or share. If that is the case, it’s not the first time we’ve seen NetEnt go after another developer. Having said that, there’s still a possibility they had reason enough to do so, although we will likely never truly know for sure.