Now, here's an interesting one. We do still get 'archaic' faxes from time to time at GameSetWatch and the CMP Game Group - sometimes the odd press release, sometimes indignant ones from Jack Thompson (more on this soon!), and recently, and most intriguingly, a 'junk fax' strenuously inciting us to buy Signature Devices' stock.

Now, why would you guys care about this? Well, Signature Devices, despite the generic tech company name, is almost entirely a game developer and publisher, sometimes under the Graffiti Entertainment name. Gamasutra has covered Graffiti in the past - the company "...is perhaps most recognized as the publisher of Neko Entertainment's multiplatform budget release Crazy Frog Racer and Sabarasa Entertainment's Mazes of Fate for the Game Boy Advance."

Here's the fax, which includes one of those delightfully fake handwritten notes on it - let's go from there:

A lot of similar text to the junk fax appears in this 'Wall Street News Alert's "stocks to watch"' listing from February, tipping the company alongside Microsoft and Netflix, and which claims: "The company has a long list of noteworthy PC and Xbox game credits including "SAMURAI SHODOWN V" for Xbox, "King of Fighters '94 Rebout" for Xbox, "Far Cry" and "Medal of Honor - Pacific Assault," and many others."

Those last two are, needless to say, not games wholly developed by Signature Devices - the junk fax itself says that the firm 'did the 3D engineering' for those two last titles, and the 'the' is stretching things too - as the company's Far Cry page reveals that it did DX7 fallback and optimizations and shader work. But the company is indeed listed on the credits - though it's only under 'Performance Consulting & Support', which is pretty far from 'did the 3D engineering for'. They are credited separately and non-specifically (under their own company title) for Medal Of Honor, mind you.

You will also note in the disclosure below the stock website's tips: "WSCF has been compensated Fourteen Thousand Dollars for coverage of Signature Devices, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SDVI), by a third party (Alex Consulting Inc.), who is non-affiliated and may hold a significant position in the stock, for services provided including dissemination of company information in this release." Nice that they disclose it, but you can see what's going on here.

In any case, many of the company's press releases seem to be stoking the fire, with such non-events as the announcement of 'negotiations' with undisclosed parties and even better, under the headline 'Royalty Streams Fuel Growth for Potential Explosive Returns for Signature Devices, Inc' - yes, there may be royalties in the firm's much-starred future!

Interestingly, the firm also boasts that it won a lawsuit against SNK recently, with General Counsel Philip Kramer commenting gleefully: "In the end we received tens of thousands of dollars from SNK to settle the lawsuit. We could have taken this further, but were willing to settle early and have a clean slate with no more pending litigation." Nothing like a sore winner, huh? Presumably this is regarding the SNK-licensed Xbox titles.

Now, a couple of clarifications here - we're not saying that Signature Devices is necessarily a bad game publisher and developer or intrinsically terrible people. But it does rather seem like at least a few shadowy figures are trying to get people to buy Signature Devices stock based on slightly hyped-up claims - and the company is putting out enough press releases to drown a few kittens in order to support that. So let's see what happens next, huh?