Several people have asked if the content on Game Pixies is legal, surely taking someone else's game without their permission and publishing it online breaks some laws? The answer is unfortunately complex, and while we have been granted permission for some of our games, so far we have relied on the fact that no one has taken issue.
It might seem naive to think along the lines of "if it isn't hurting anyone, what is the problem?", but there is also some business sense for publishers and designers to let us do what we do. For a start we provide free advertising to a highly targeted audience. We also provide extremely high quality advertising, not just some static text but a playable version and we are always happy to introduce people to a new game. It is no surprise to us that people have tried games on our site for the first time only to promptly declare they are off to buy it the next day.
Sadly we have just been asked to take down a game, but not without good reason. Knizia Games has just sold exclusive electronic rights to Through the Desert to an undisclosed company. I hope the other company does a nice job of it and bring this great game to more people. It is also promising to see that the online board game market is getting this developed. We wish Through the Desert the best of luck, so long, and thanks for all the great games.
But while we are saying good bye, it is interesting to take stock of our legal position, and some may find it surprising. According to this article there are no copy protections on games. A game's name can be trademarked (and almost always is) and its artwork can be copyrighted, but the ideas and mechanisms of playing a game are not offered any protection at all.
This means that we are under no legal obligation to remove the gameplay, we must simply stop using the name as we already use our own artwork. However, we have removed the game completely because we aim to work with game designers and publishers and can hardly do this if we act against their wishes. This is our first contact with Knizia Games and so it is important to us, hopefully we can now work with them to bring a larger audience to some of their other games, Mr. Knizia has designed many truly excellent games after all.