Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012 at 08:30 AM PST by Dick Ward
Games made to confuse users into buying them are starting to get booted - it's a nice start for eliminating needless clutter. Now if only we'd see this on major consoles.
Copycat products are nothing new. When 'Transformers' came out in theaters, for example, the movie 'Transmorphers' was released on DVD. For every pet or baby game on the Nintendo DS there are at least a few cheaper versions of the same game. Where it's worst though, is on the iPhone.
Developer Anton Sinelnikov had 68 games on the App Store and is now left with nine. A whopping 59 of those games were clones of other games, created to trick users into buying them. Even the names were tricky. To profit off of the game 'Plants vs. Zombies,' for example, he created a game called 'Plant vs. Zombie.' A customer not up on their videogame literacy might not know the difference.
"This was really upsetting to us and damaging to our brand," says Natalia Luckyanova of Imangi. If you're not familiar, Imangi is the company behind the popular 'Temple Run,' which was ripped off in a title called 'Temple Jump.' She says that there's much more at stake here than just lost sales. "We work really hard to put out very high quality polished games and win the love of our fans, and we don't want them to think that we would put out crap to steal a dollar from them."
This incident prompted swift movement from Apple which is certainly a positive precedent for game developers. If only the Xbox Live Indie Games were as policed as this, people may actually be able to find games worth playing.
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