Game Creator Finds That Knockoffs Can't Match His Awesome Game
from the winning dept
One thing game developers have always had, and will always have, to deal with is the dreaded copycat clone. It’s something of a success indicator when you create something entertaining enough to breed like products. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Or, instead of being flattered, you can go the Zynga route and sue folks using IP laws rather than compete with them directly. Or, if one were so inclined, one could take a page out of the Namco playbook and threaten a kid for making a Pacman clone. Defenders of these actions will claim that they’re necessary. After all, a great amount of work and development went into those games and it seems unfair for a copycat to come along, use similar designs, and reap the benefits. How could the original creator compete with that?
Here to show us how the original creator could compete with that is Rami Ismail, developer of Ridiculous Fishing, who was just a tad late to the iOS market compared with copycat Ninja Fishing. Instead of going legal, or even crying foul, however, Ismail just concentrated on making his game freaking awesome.
“When we released the game, we promised people that for $2.99 (£1.79) they would get Ridiculous Fishing without any further in-app purchases or anything,” he told Digital Spy at PC and indie games expo Rezzed.
“We’re going to keep our word, but we want to emphasize that point that we were really serious about that. The plan we have now, if we pull it off the way we want to, we’re going to double the content and add a completely new narrative arc, and explore that world a bit further.”
The result? Well, Ridiculous Fishing got real big, real fast. Ninja Fishing did okay as well, but Ismail’s game has the kind of cachet that only comes with a tightly developed game and a loyal fanbase. Built largely off of his promise to refrain from in-app purchases and his passion for his customers, the whole thing exploded on iOS once it was released.
“Then what happened, that bubble just exploded. Elijah Wood played Ridiculous Fishing and tweeted about it. That’s mind-blowing. That’s not something that happens. We didn’t expect it to be this big – we hoped it would be this size. We really hoped this would be the definitive statement about creativity will always win, because obviously the whole cloning background is still there for us, right?
“We still want to make this statement that Ninja Fishing did well, but Ridiculous Fishing wins because it was the better game. Better games win. That’s what we hoped people would get out of it, and I think they did.”
A ton of downloads and one Apple design award later, Ismail serves as the perfect example of what the combination of fan loyalty and well-designed products mean in the war against game cloners. Instead of focusing on being angry and going the legal route, Ismail won because his game is better. Something to which the rest of the developer community should probably be paying attention.