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IGF chair continues campaign against game cloning


Independent Games Festival chairman Brandon Boyer is quite unhappy with Gamenaut's iOS title Ninja Fishing, a game that's more than "inspired" by indie studio Vlambeer's Flash game Radical Fishing. Vlambeer was secretly in the process of porting the game to iOS when the studio was blindsided by the clone.

"I have a chart I'm almost done with. This is not inspiration," Boyer told us at GDC Europe today when he brought up the dilemma. "The things [Radical Fishing] doesn't have is ... Fruit Ninja. Radical Fishing didn't have Fruit Ninja. [Ninja Fishing] has everything else, except they added Fruit Ninja to one of the parts."

Boyer continued, "The progress, the structure, the power-ups. The mechanics, the three-part design. It's just Radical Fishing. I think most people in the indie circle haven't played Ninja Fishing, which is good, but I think because of that they don't quite understand how blatant it was. Once you lay it out side by side [a project that Boyer will publish soon on an excel sheet he showed us], it's like 'Oh yeah, they just 100 percent ripped that off.'"

When asked what the difference is between "inspiration" and theft, Boyer said, "It's like the thing about pornography, you know it when you see it."

If this type of blatant cloning sounds familiar, it's because it is. In February, the story of The Blocks Cometh theft made the rounds. Indies being ripped off by indies isn't the only type of iOS cloning going on, either. It can also happen with major publishers, as was the case with Capcom's MaXplosion, a blatant clone of Twisted Pixel's high-profile 'Splosion Man.

[Image credit: Official GDC]

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