Protests from ArmA II developer Bohemia Interactive over Codemasters' marketing of rival ultra realistic military FPS Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising "didn't blip on our radar", the lead AI designer on the game has said.
In a press release issued in February this year, Bohemia slammed Codemasters for describing Dragon Rising as the "return of" or "official sequel to" the original Operation Flashpoint game.
Bohemia claimed that while the Operation Flashpoint trade mark is currently owned by Codemasters, having published the original game under license, the Czech Republic studio "always owned 100 per cent of the original OFP game".
It said: "Bohemia Interactive wants fans to understand that Codemasters' new game is not from the same development team that brought the classic original".
Bohemia lawyers added: "Since Codemasters has no right to use the Bohemia Interactive game engine or any other component of the Bohemia-developed game, how can it rightfully claim to produce a 'sequel'?".
Speaking to VideoGamer.com, Codemasters' Clive Lindop said that Bohemia's protest "seemed almost unrelated to what we were actually doing" and didn't "blip" on the development team's radar at all.
"Their argument seemed to be almost purely about naming, which of course for a dev team hard at work doesn't really mean a lot. It is Operation Flashpoint. It is all about delivering things that Operation Flashpoint was about. So in actual fact it didn't really even blip on our radar because it seems like such a minor point. I'm sure for the marketing guys it probably meant a lot more and maybe there was a discussion about that, but to be honest when you're doing development you tend to get into the habit of judging a game when it's out and you get it in your hands.
"We all want to play ArmA II because you want to see what they've done. It's not as if it's an overcrowded genre. Large landscape open world FPS military games are not exactly falling from the sky!"
Lindop also denied that the recent dropping of the "2" from Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising to simply Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising was in response to letters of complaint from Bohemia's lawyers to Codemasters over the marketing of the game.
"That was actually more to do with being cross platform," he said. "There wasn't an OFP1 on the PS1 or PS2, for example. There was an Xbox version called Operation Flashpoint: Elite, but it was almost a decade ago. To suggest it was 2 just seemed to confuse an audience of people who probably in the majority hadn't played 1.
"Did you call Star Wars Star Wars 1, 2 and 3 or did you call it Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi? It seemed much more logical that Flashpoint worked better as a name if it was just about specific operations. It was more coincidental than anything else actually. Certainly when you codename a project when you first start it it's logical to call it OFP2, which is what we did. But it was always the intention from a marketing point of view that it seemed a little bit clearer to just call it Operation Flashpoint. 10 years is a long time.
He added: "It's not even set in the same place. I think it would make more sense if it was a follow on to the original story. But it's not. It's a completely different scenario. None of the other characters are brought over. It's a whole new scenario, a whole new setting, new engine, new technology, new AI, it's all about pushing that barrier out further to what can be done in that genre of game."
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is due out from Codemasters for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this summer. ArmA II is currently confirmed for PC some time this year.