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Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-08-15 UTC

Patented 8x8 Arimaa was heavily licensed, though it is arguably not a true CV (no king-like pieces). The one who licensed it in my opinion slowed the spread of what could have been an explosively popular board game, e.g. countless books, over-the-board clubs, by requiring permission to write/start such, instead restricting (online) play to one official website (when I looked there many years ago I saw number of logins [at least some being players] that were listed [low 100's, about what it is now?!]). Elsewhere there's approved equipment, and there are also apps sold, at least.

Ironically, the game was promoted as computer-resistant (compared to chess), but that claim did not last for two decades, even, and so maybe now the game is less played globally(??). I recall one Google search I did many years ago had the result 'They've fixed chess' (probably in reference to computers and/or that an Arimaa game cannot ever end in a draw). One other 'defect' uncovered is that in setting up a start position (done by each side), only a small few strategies are now thought clearly best, I've read somewhere.

The inventor restricted the power of any hardware that could be used to challenge humans in the contests on his website, but still a machine (program) eventually triumphed over the best humans in matches. Currently it seems clear no board game can ever be computer-resistant for long, especially with self-teaching programs.

P.S.: I don't know much about patents around the world, but once any game is out in the public domain (and does become quite popular - usually requiring promotion by inventor anyway?!), I would guess the horse has left the barn; if so, no risk-free way to make a big profit, as is normal.

edit: Public domain rules, at least in US, may be more complex nowadays than I guessed - here's a sub-wiki that may be only just a taste:

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