Someone did not have a good cup of A Ghost’s Pumpkin Soup.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, the Dancing Pumpkin Man, who many Sonic fans will remember from a re-cut rendition of him dancing to the iconic tune from Sonic Adventure 2, is now the subject of a pre-emptive lawsuit by Epic Games over the likeness.
Says GI, the Pumpkin Man, real name Matt Geiler, was not happy about his alleged use in Fortnite as an emote called Pump it Up. He sent a cease-and-desist letter to the game’s developer, Epic Games. It did not go over well:
After receiving the letter, Epic struck first with a preemptive lawsuit against Geiler, claiming it does not owe him anything and has not infringed any trademark or copyright.
Epic claims that The Pump It Up emote does not infringe on Geiler’s claimed copyrights, because he does not own a “protective character.” nor are the parties’ respective works “substantially similar as a matter of law.”
Epic Games is also alleging that the character isn’t much different from any other Jack-O-Lantern character created through history–at least not enough that it affords copyright protection.
The original Pumpkin Man video, which features a dance to the theme song from Ghostbusters, has been viewed more than 9 million times on Youtube, but the SA2 sync has a chunk of yuks too, having been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.