Hollywood agent issues Irish games firm with cease-and-desist order

21 Dec 2009

A Dublin iPhone apps developer has been issued with a cease-and-desist order by lawyers acting on behalf of one of Hollywood’s most powerful agents Ari Emanuel of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment over the use of his name and his company’s name in an iPhone game they developed.

It was reported on Forbes at the weekend that Dublin mobile software development firm FactorySix has been issued with a cease-and-desist order requesting the company stop using the name “Ari” and remove references to William Morris from its new iPhone game “Super Agent.”

A fortnight ago FactorySix launched its debut iPhone game called SuperAgent on the Apple App Store and announced a tasty US$25,000 prize for the highest-scoring user by 31 January, 2010.

The SuperAgent app, which puts users in the hot seat at a Hollywood talent agency, was co-written by FactorySix founders Rick Larkin and Oisin Hanrahan and is available for download on the App Store at a price of €1.59.

In SuperAgent, gamers playing as “Ari”must deal with a series of situations surrounding the management of one client “Vince” about their career, both on and off the screen, and are awarded commission based on their decisions.

The manager character Ari does not appear in the game, only his silhouette does. “Ari” and “Vince” are also the names of the characters in the top TV series Entourage.

According to the Forbes report, Larkin and Hanrahan have written back to Emmanuel’s lawyers discounting their claims as “ridiculous” and adding that outside of Hollywood no one would be aware of who Emanuel is.

Emmanuel’s lawyers are basing their claims on an interview that Hanrahan allegedly gave to a UK technology news site where he is purported to have said he intended “Ari” to be perceived as Emanuel.

FactorySix was founded in 2009 by Larkin and Hanrahan, who have been involved in the media and internet fields for some time. Larkin founded the indie film outfit i-Wire Films, while Hanrahan recently sold the political website he co-founded, MiCandidate.com.

FactorySix has four other titles in the ‘Super’ range under development, while the company is also working on apps for several major international companies.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years