Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 2, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 2, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Kixeye, Kabam Clash Over Game Copying Accusations
Kixeye, Kabam Clash Over Game Copying Accusations
July 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

July 27, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
Comments
    4 comments
More: Social/Online, Design, Business/Marketing



Social gaming developer Kixeye is publicly accusing competitor Kabam of copying its popular Backyard Monsters title in designing its new release Edgeworld, a claim Kabam strongly denies.

Kixeye claims 12 million lifetime installs for its Backyard Monsters strategy title, which currently has over 3.6 million monthly players on Facebook. The company says Kabam of trying to latch on to this success with Edgeworld, which recently launched in beta and has already found over 230,000 monthly users on Facebook.

"At Kixeye, we believe that constant improvement and creative new ideas are essential for moving social gaming forward, and condemn any and all developers that look to simply copy the hard work of others," the company said in a statement.

"There is no question that the engineers of EdgeWorld had Backyard Monsters open in one window while they coded the copy in another," Kixeye CEO Will Harbin said in the statement. "It's not detrimental to Kixeye in the short term, but this kind of practice is bad for all of us in the gaming industry - it will eventually sour users and it certainly does the opposite of proving that Facebook can be a legitimate gaming platform."

Harbin goes on to point out similarities between Kabam's Kingdoms of Camelot and fantasy RTS Evony as further evidence that the company "is wasting talent and resources on cloning games that already exist."

For his part, Kabam CEO Kevin Chou said Edgeworld "represents a new step in the continuum of massively multiplayer social games" and "features a host of new gameplay mechanics to further entertain and engage our core gamers."

Rather than simply copying Backyard Monsters, Chou said the Kabam team expanded on four of its own previous strategy titles in making Edgeworld, and drew inspiration from "movies, pop culture, science fiction, literature, history and, most importantly, from our players."

"We're flattered by the fact that others in the industry are commenting on Edgeworld," Chou continued. "It validates our belief that Edgeworld is a great game worthy of attention, and we’ll have more to share about the game soon."

Accusations of game cloning and idea-stealing have been a part of the video game industry since Pong, though the practice has likely increased with the explosion of casual mobile and social game popularity.

Capcom recently courted controversy and later apologized for iPhone title MaXplosion, a game that bore more than a slight resemblance to Twisted Pixel's XBLA Splosion Man.


Related Jobs

Vicarious Visions / Activision
Vicarious Visions / Activision — Albany, New York, United States
[10.02.14]

Character Artist-Vicarious Visions
Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States
[10.01.14]

Concept Artist
Red 5 Studios
Red 5 Studios — Laguna Hills, California, United States
[10.01.14]

Web Developer/Web Architect
Halo
Halo — Kirkland, Washington, United States
[10.01.14]

Senior AI Engineer










Comments


Carlo Delallana
profile image
Attack of the clones. Its true that ideas are easily copied so where do we go from here? The solution is as simple as ever. If you create something unique that players connect to on an emotional level (sometimes to irrational levels) then copycats, even ones that do things better when you break things down in a bullet list, will have a hard time getting traction.



Look at the near religious worship Apple fans (me included) when it comes to their hardware and software offerings. I'm not blind to the fact that there are products with some features that are better and offer it for a cheaper price but Apple and I are in a long term relationship. I have an irrational emotional connection with their devices.



Easier said than done, then again, there's a reason why Apple shares broke $400 this week.

Joshua Dallman
profile image
This is old news in social games, with Mob Wars / Mafia Wars / Mobsters, Happy Island / Tiki Resort / Tap Resort, etc ad nauseum. This is a timeless non-issue right up there with "are games art?" Copying, and allegations of copying, are par for the course in any profit-driven creative industry, trying to stop it is like to trying to put DRM on creativity. Cloning was even more rampant in casual games, where seemingly everything was a Bejewelled or Diner Dash knock-off (I've even seen one casual indie developer steal an actual texture file from their "inspiration" source and launch with it - the source developer was not amused). Before casual copycats there were FPS copycats, before that there were arcade copycats (Pac-Man: Joyman, Pirahana, or Caterpillar anyone?). And so the wheel turns. If you have a case, sue (Zynga did). Otherwise badmouthing the competition with press releases is pointless crying over the inevitable - you might as well send out a PR complaining about all the players pirating your game. Suck it up and make a better mousetrap, get ahead of the copycats with R&D, more innovation, and better production quality and your product will be untouchable (Pixar is). If Kixeye was savvy they would have courted a distribution and cross promotional partnership with Kabam, not sent out a knee-jerk press attack. If you can't beat them (and you can't), then join them (or have them join you).

Joshua Dallman
profile image
The industry is filled with examples, but I just found another prime one. Mumbo Jumbo cloned PopCap's game Zuma by developing Luxor, which is exactly the same game. PopCap should have sent out a press release wagging their finger at Mumbo Jumbo. But wait! They're both rip-off's of Capcom's 1998 stand-up arcade game, Puzz Loop! Which in turn borrows heavily from Bust-a-Move by Taito (same game, just in a line instead of a grid). Like I said, copying is all part of the biz...

Joshua Dallman
profile image
Last comment - don't even get me started on Pong clones. Go check out the history of video games, there were a million clones of Pong after the original one hit, and a period of time with so-called "Pong wars" trying to out-feature each other with tiny innovations to the formula. Well, welcome to the "social game wars." Best of luck playing!


none
 
Comment: