If there's one thing you can't do in any entertainment field, it's steal someone's idea. But of course, it's always a "he-said, she-said" scenario, so sometimes it's difficult to discern which side had the idea first.
Midway released the well-received Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy back in 2004, which was a fantastic idea but unfortunately went mostly under-appreciated by gamers. Now, as it turns out, that very original concept might not have been so original… According to GameSpot, Screenwriter William L. Crawford III has filed a lawsuit against Midway, as he claims the publisher stole just about all the facets of the game from a screenplay he wrote, also entitled "Psi-Ops." Crawford is flat-out accusing Midway of lifting the characters, plot, and overall design from his story.
And unfortunately for Midway, Crawford has some evidence on his side: he filed for a patent with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1998, and he says he took the story to E3 in 2001. He also had several websites that talked about his idea in great detail. Midway's patent for the game came through in 2004, by the way, which is a full six years after Crawford claims the idea came to fruition.
The screenwriter is seeking $1.5 million in the lawsuit, and Midway has yet to respond to the allegations. However, as it stands now, it appears Crawford has a case, which could prove troublesome for the veteran publisher.
Related Game(s): Psi-Ops The Mindgate Conspiracy