Published on April 22nd, 2013 | by Steven Hansen0
Clone wars: Indie dev Vlambeer deals with another rip-off
The widely acclaimed indie studio Vlambeer (Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing) is facing a tough decision today after Rubiq Lab released a trailer [the trailer is now private and unavailable] for SkyFar, an iOS game that looks incriminatingly like Vlambeer’s upcoming 2D dog fighter Luftrausers.
This isn’t the first time the small studio has faced such a predicament. Its most recent success, Ridiculous Fishing, is a fleshed out version of a Flash game the team made several years ago, Radical Fishing. With plans to create a marketable iOS game, Vlambeer saw studio Gamenauts beat them to the punch. Gamenauts released Ninja Fishing on the Apple marketplace, where it currently sits at a five star rating, before Vlambeer had finished Ridiculous Fishing, putting undue strain on the two man indie team. Despite this blatant plagiarism, there is little legal precedent regarding patent game design, so Vlambeer’s hands were tied. Worse, they had to release onto the marketplace a game that could have been taken as a ripoff of a popular game when in fact that game that had ripped them off.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail stated, “We simply can’t deal with the stress of another cloned game, so we’ve gotten in touch with Apple and Google to see if there is a way for for the issue to be resolved without us getting involved in yet another clone war.” Ismail followed strongly, “Ultimately, we refuse to accept this as a part of our industry.”
It’s likely this scenario will have less a direct affect on Vlambeer, as Luftrausers is slated for release on PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, and Linux, whereas Ninja Fishing shot toward the market in which Ridiculous Fishing intended to drop anchor. Still, such a blatant facsimile — down to the art style, in this instance — shouldn’t be acceptable. With Rubiq Lab having pulled the trailer, hopefully it’s a sign that proper action it being taken.