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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 14:59 GMT
Sega sues Fox over Simpsons game
Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family are headed for the law courts.

Gamemaker Sega is suing a rival, alleging they used patented technology to create a game based on the yellow cartoon characters.

Sega wants to stop sales of "Simpsons Road Rage" and is demanding damages.

More than one million copies of the game, in which players have to act as taxi drivers and collect fares against the clock, have been sold.


Sega claims Fox Entertainment, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, copied its own "Crazy Taxi" game.

Since the advent of early programs such as "Pac Man" and "Asteroids," computer gaming has developed into multi-billion dollar industry that isn't just aimed at kids.

Corporate giants such as Microsoft and Sony now produce consoles and players can do almost anything from ruling virtual worlds to managing football clubs.

The most successful characters such as Lara Croft even become the stars of Hollywood blockbuster movies.


According to a survey by the Entertainment Software Association, two out of every five Americans said they plan to buy a game at some time this year.

Total sales totalled $6.9bn last year, up 9% from the previous year and more than double 1995 levels.

"Gamers are fast becoming an increasingly diverse group with women and players over 50 making up a larger percentage of gamers than ever before", the industry group said.

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