I’m starting to worry about this while I was programming/practicing my Android project. The debacle is still going strong even after Flappy Bird was taken down by its author. There’s about 1/3 of the clones on the App Store for iOS.

Unfortunately, plagiarism is not possible with games. Games are not covered by copyright.

So, what do you plan to do about this? Combat it? Fight it in courts? Or just let them be?

Well, we could just get anonymous up on their a**

Honestly, the best way to combat this imo is to just make a let it be, but on your website bash the hell out of them. :stuck_out_tongue: IMO though I only like the original. So I refrain myself from playing knock offs. I feel as if I am typing one of those posts that solve nothing.

Speaking of knock-offs, I don’t think you can prove to everyone that you’re not based on a knock-off, let alone making lots of effort saying how game designs are done, and what you did to create a concept that works for you.

And if applicable, where do you mark a line between originals and knock-offs these days?

Every game these days are either knock-offs or frankestiens. As many games as there are it’s almost possible to be original. So, today’s term for ‘original’ is how good you hide the fact that you based it off another game.

And a good thing too.

As for Flappy Bird etc., that is an issue that seems to only affect the mobile market. The mobile gaming industry is a disgusting place.

I totally agree. What I hate is that the average people of society (The ones who can’t boot up a pc) will only play mobile games. Thats the truly disgusting part!

Nope. Nothing wrong with playing games on a phone. Or even a console.

The issue is that console is locked down, and mobile encourages the use of dirty tactics to steal your money.

I’ve had an iOS device for 4 years, and in that time, I’ve had 1 game that I felt was decent. Everything else was utterly crap.

Totally agree, all the love is gone. It was always about the money but at least the games making it were original at the time.

Every game is the same now, place some virtual object, wait XXX about of time, or pay a dollah to get it now.

Scum of the earth.

Yep. It’s sad, I do have a lot of decent games on my mobile devices… But the mobile market is getting so bad now that there’s “Pay to win” digital “coins”(or equiv.) type stuff in even the FULL PRICED games.

For example, I love Fieldrunners 2, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. I paid full price for it ($7 I think? I don’t remember) and it has in-app purchases to buy “coins” to unlock towers, and unlocking some of them the non-pay way requires you to get 3 stars (max stars) in almost all the levels… and whats the point of unlocking a tower after you have completely beat the entire game?

I think Pay-to-win should be illegal, it’s sad that the top-earning apps on all the marketplaces are all “F2P”. :frowning:

all the old arcade machine games are pretty much pay to win… if you dont pay you certainly cant win lol. full priced games are pay to win also…

Please note that while game concepts (thankfully) are not copyrighted, game assets (graphics, sounds) and a the game brand (e.g. Flappy Bird) are protected by copyright:

[quote]Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

The game development industry is slowly growing into something “mature.” Which means that methods for extracting as much money as possible from gamers have become really advanced. This is not really different from what happened in for example food or drink industry.

Fast food (and the whole “fast food experience”) and sodas are carefully optimized to maximize consumption, even at the cost of consumer health. This is what a singular focus on profits, conversion rates and monetization strategies leads to: junk food that destroys the health of an entire generation, and junk games that destroy the social lives and health of an entire generation.

Developing and selling junk games is not that different from pushing drugs, as far as I’m concerned. The approach is pretty much the same: make people addicted first, then start extorting money. It works very well with regards to making money, but it is also ugly.

The top 100 grossing apps in the mobile markets are pretty much all junk games, with some rare exceptions.

Pedantic but important distinction - branding is protected by trademark law which is entirely separate from copyright law, AFAIK. And furthermore it’s a bit of a grey area with the titles of creative works as well, especially intellectual works. For example, consider the name of a book, “All about Me.” - it is still quite acceptable for any number of people to write and publish a book with this title. At least, provided the authors have different names.

Cas :slight_smile:

Good point, thanks! :wink:

The game mechanics are not covered by copyright, but text and graphics, as well as the program code are covered by copyright.

But if the original copyright holder doesn’t want to sue and start a lawsuit, nothing will happen.

Sadly it’s close to inevitable that you have to enter that marketplace to be successful nowadays. While PC is still a widely available and widely used platform, the mobile industry is hacking off a big chunk of the potential market. Though I despise of the pay-to-win culture in the mobile industry, I cannot blame those that take part in it. Business will always go wherever there is a demand from the consumer, which is unfortunately pay-to-win. Pay to play simply does not appeal to the consumer any longer.

I hear this all the time, yet I still have to find someone who prefers pay to win/free to play.

You’re quite the angry man here.
Most games that make a lot of money are -junk- , yes I do agree.
Are those business strategies akin to selling drugs - hell no.
Maximizing profits, thats what capitalism is after, makes sense; So whatever does generate more revenue you will do and perfect. I dont really judge it because its a natural thing to be happening.
The underlying issue is that this greed for money will ultimately destroy the whole economy as evident by recent events, because you just cant have a healthy system where everybody is being greedy. However you cannot just stand there and yell at this problem, I mean there are many factors and some of them have been developing over years.

Back to games there are a lot of reasons game devs resort to this beside pure “maximizing of profits”, resons like piracy eating your revenue. Also since the advent of mobile games and companies making games for insanely cheap prices like $1, all of the sudden people feel the usual prices for games to pay (upfront!) are way too high. Its just hard to earn money.

If you wanna make money with music or indie movies - forget about it… nobody cares, its very hard to get into that business. This is exactly how it will be for video games too, once everybody can make them and all the ideas are pretty much out there, having a saturated market, it gets harder to make money. So gotta do whatever is necessary.

If a person is weak enough to get sucked in to gambling, alcohol, drugs, overly time consuming video games or what have you, this person is not worth to have this discussion over.
You dont blame the industry for catering towards a dumb weak society, if anything you blame the people for being weak fools.

Another thing though: There is no reason for complete desperation on this issue; People will always love emotional moving deep connecting games and movies, so even if those are getting harder to make, if done well, they will succeed even in the future.

Whew… However, I think both sides of this small debate are correct.

I personally despise pay-to-win. Seriously, you know something is wrong when people are paying as much for a mobile game over time as they are for a game console.

Pay-to-win probably wouldn’t have been that bad if it were like the arcades.

There was a limited amount of time that you had to pay money, and the amount they can gain from a single play-through depends mostly on your skill level and is usually underneath 5 USD in most cases. Arcades become slightly cheaper as your skill level improves.

Seriously, if the mobile market was an arcade…

You would be able to go to the counter and get cheat cards to beat any arcade game there. You’d be able to buy a pack to automatically hit all the up notes on the Stepmania pad for 20 USD. If you are playing a fighting game, you won’t be able to fight the final boss unless you sit there for an extra hour, or pay 30 USD. Store closing… tough rocks pal.

Pay-to-win sucks the fun out of gaming.

You aren’t playing to improve your skill anymore, instead you are paying to play the game. Seriously, it is like the mobile market is herding gamers and forcing them to give them money. What is this, gamer domestication? Are gamers now no better than farm animals that need to be rounded up for money?

Seriously, it is about ethics. We are now so advanced that we are actually domesticating ourselves and don’t even know it. Do we as gamers deserve to live in a place where no one takes us seriously, and uses our medium as a way to extort money? I don’t know about you, but there is a lot to be gained by not turning our industry into an unethical beast.

To be honest, pay-to-win developers should be really trying to limit how much they can gain from a single purchase. In the least case, they should at least give a solid way to win the game without us crashing into a toll bridge, timed pay wall, or forcing us to purchase an item. It is understandable for extra content and advertisements, but creating an environment where you just continuously extort funds by preventing progress… Come on, it is just underhanded and wrong.

Developers will blame the users, and users will blame the developers. But, in the end… the gaming community loses. It is the users responsibility to stop funding bad games, but more importantly…

It is our responsibility as developers to stop destroying our own gaming user base. We should limit ourselves on how much money we can make from the game itself, and treat gamers like human beings. They are not animals that you can “milk” for money.

Anyway, maybe this will be the new norm. However, as a game developer myself, I will fight against this. I am much better than this, I think all developers are much better than this. We have to respect our user base. It is the only way that gaming will be respected in the future.

Operating in a capitalist system does not acquit you of any responsibility towards the people you are selling to. I do judge it when people try to make a profit in shady ways, for example by selling overly complicated financial products using carefully misleading marketing, and leading people to ruin in the process. Similarly, I cannot appreciate game developers that knowlingly develop games that are bad for their users.

There need to be counterbalances to greed. One is ethics, morality. Another is government regulation. And another is awareness campaigns, akin to those against junk food or smoking (dont buy junk games, they are bad for you! ;)). Im fine with any solution.

I dont think so. It being hard to make money is no excuse whatsoever for any kind of behaviour, especially for individuals with skills (developers) that will earn them good money outside the game development industry.

Yeah sorry, but I find the “we’re all free to prey on the weak and dumb” reasoning a bit scary and disagree strongly.

Yeah I do have hope for the future ;D I mean, even though junk food is still being consumed in huge quantities, there is also quite a healthy market for good quality food, amongst other things because the junk quality of junk food got a lot of attention. I consider many indie games and some AAA titles to be similar to quality food, which indeed gives hope for the future :wink: