We learned last year about The Store is Closed, a survival game that trapped players inside an “infinite furniture store” that was quite clearly an Ikea in all but name—creator Jacob Shaw even referred to it as “an infinite Ikea game” on Reddit. The similarity was overt enough that Ikea threatened legal action, and so when we ran across Retail Royale on Steam—”a chaotic Battle Royale inside a furniture store where everything is a weapon”—our first thought was that The Store is Closed had rebranded, retooled, and come back as a battle royale game. But no: Somehow, there are now two distinct, large-scale pretend-Ikea games on the market.

Retail Royale has been in early access for a year, and actually got some attention from streamers including xQc and JFJ not long after it went live. It’s been quite well received during that time, too, with more than 3,600 user reviews on Steam giving it a “mostly positive” overall rating. 

It sounds pretty straightforward as battle royales go: 16 players try to kill each other using everything at hand, from guns to axes, rakes, and pieces of furniture. Items can be recycled, and the materials left over used to craft new stuff. There are cosmetic items to earn, the map is large and has “distinct store sections,” and both free-for-all and duos modes are supported.

But it’s the setting that makes Retail Royale most interesting, because it’s even more overt about the Ikea connection than The Store is Closed. This, in case there’s any doubt, is the very first screenshot on the Steam page:

(Image credit: DarxDev)

Ikea’s lawyers insisted that the developers of  The Store is Closed “make changes” to the game to lessen the Ikea connection, although it’s not currently clear whether developer Ziggy intends to comply. The same fate could befall Retail Royale, but there might be an argument that both games count as protected parodies.

According to SteamDB, Retail Royale actually predates The Store is Closed very slightly: Retail Royale’s Steam page went live on February 18, 2021, while The Store is Closed showed up several weeks later, on March 31 of the same year. It’s an odd bit of timing, but Ikea’s problems with real-world battles royale in its stores—which is to say, massive games of hide-and-seek and other such tomfoolery—go back years prior to that: In 2015, more than 32,000 people signed up on Facebook to take part in massive games of hide-and-seek in Ikea stores in the Netherlands. The company learned about the plan and put the kibosh on it, although much like its approach to The Store is Closed, it did so very gently, saying it was “happy that our customers are playful” but “can no longer guarantee the security of those who are playing or our customers and employees.”

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