Following the news that casual game company King has shut down one of its older titles in the wake of cloning allegations, the developer behind the King game has come forward to give his side of the story.
Developer Matthew Cox (a.k.a. Junkyard Sam) said last week that King deliberately copied his game Scamperghost
after he and his development partner turned down a deal to license the game to King, with King later creating a similar game called Pac-Avoid
Now Matt Porter, the Epic Shadow dev who created Pac-Avoid
for King, has written a blog post
in which he expands on his original claims that King lied to him, and told him that Cox had backed out of a deal.
"Lars [Jornow, King representative] messaged us and asked us if we wanted a small job," explains Porter. "He then told us that he was working with another developer to secure a sponsorship for the game Scamper Ghost
and that the developer had backed out of the deal."
"King wasn’t too pleased with that," he continues, "and so Lars requested that we clone the game for them. I had a good working relationship with King then and was quite upset that someone would break the FGL [FlashGameLicense] terms and conditions. I initially thought the job was a little immoral, and a bit sketchy, but we had worked with King before, talked regularly, and Lars made these other developers seem like some really unprofessional jerks."
Porter alleges that King asked for the game to be built as quickly as possible, adding that "it would optimal if we could beat the original game to market." The dev notes that he built Pac-Avoid
from scratch, and did not steal any assets from Scamperghost
Porter is now angry that King appears to be blaming him for the cloning job. King told Gamasutra in a statement last week, "Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP. However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game – which was coded by a third-party developer 5 years ago – is being taken down."
"I'm quite irked that King has the nerve to blatantly lie and shift the blame to me," he says, later adding "Based on their response to the recent allegations, I now know that the company is both deceitful and hypocritical."