When A Company Choosing Not To Sue A Copycat Is News...

from the society-today... dept

azuravian points us to the story of how indie developer Twisted Pixel has announced that it has no intention of suing gaming giant Capcom for making what looks pretty clearly to be a blatant copy of its Xbox Live Arcade game 'Splosion Man with the iPhone game MaXplosion. Twisted Pixel's CEO notes that he'd rather just compete in the marketplace:
"We're definitely not going to pursue legal action. While I think the similarities are pretty nauseating, we're too small to take on a company like Capcom. That, and we owe them one for inventing Mega Man, so we'll let them slide. I just hope they're not counting on the fact that indies can't fight back.

"In general, anything that would take our focus off of making games would be a bad decision, I think. We just need to keep our heads down making the next thing so that Capcom has something to steal next year. But I have to say, the amount of support we've seen in the last 12 hours on Twitter and over email has been awesome, and I think that's better than wining [sic] a stupid lawsuit or anything like that.
What's also interesting is that Capcom seems to recognize that it's own reputation was seriously harmed by this copying, and has put out a statement saying that it hoped to "rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."

Once again it looks like social mores and social pressure can be a hell of a lot more effective (not to mention cheaper) than any lawsuit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Deimos280 (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    Wow...

    Twisted Pixel walks on water. seriously, right on guys. epic win.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Weird

    Huh. Not sure what to make of this. Capcom is pretty accommodating as far as others using its properties go. See MegaRan, for example.

    Maybe they just took the reverse to extreme?

    Anyways, good on Twisted Pixel for taking the high road.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 5:58pm

    Just to be fare the apparently just copied some ideas from that other game, the graphics are different, the playability is a bit different, is more of a knock-off and Capcom probably would get away with it.

    I saw the 2 games and although similar I didn't see huge semblances there, is on that gray zone.

     

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    pringerX (profile), Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    I wonder if Twisted would have sued if they had been bigger, and Capcom smaller. The statement makes it sound like Twisted would have hit back if they thought they could do so effectively.

    Still, a good call even if possibly made for other reasons. I can't imagine that the publicity from the Capcom copycat is bad for them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    An easy solution to this is for capcom to invest in TP's next project. It can only turn out win/win from then on for both companies. I suggest low to mid 5-figures.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 3:30am

      Re:

      That seems liek a good idea, encourage the competition so that you can actually innovate in the market. Definitely a win/win for most, if nnto all, involved.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2011 @ 7:57pm

    The capcom game looks more like sonic the hedgehog, and is way shittier than splosion man.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Capcom hopes to rebuild the trust, and in the meantime they will continue to take the money and continue to use the smaller company's product, because, well, it's good for business.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 9:22am

    Once again it looks like social mores and social pressure can be a hell of a lot more effective (not to mention cheaper) than any lawsuit.


    i dont see how it is more effective than a lawsuit.
    they get nothing this way. sure capcom are saddened, but saddened doesnt pay the bills.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      Twisted Pixel is getting a bunch of support from the gaming community, which is likely to lead to increased sales of this and their other games. It has also opened a great channel for them to communicate with gamers, and the general buzz around Capcom's ripoff is no doubt generating attention for Twisted Pixel as well.

      Moreover, as the CEO says, they want to continue focusing on making more games. Suing would sap time and resources from their company which would be better spent working on their next project - especially at a time like this when the spotlight of the gaming press is on them and is bound to pay attention to their next release.

      Suing might, after several months or years, get them some cash. Or it might backfire and cost them a fortune in lawyer's bills. It's a gamble: shooting for a prize in the unfamiliar arena of law. Why do that when they could keep doing what they know they are good at - forget this battle and win the war on their true merits?

       

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

      Re:

      in fact, see the very next post on this blog for a perfect example

       

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      nasch (profile), Jan 23rd, 2011 @ 6:00pm

      Re:

      I don't think I'd heard of Splosion Man before this, but I might buy it now.

       

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    Joshy, Jan 22nd, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    Hey lets call together a "Techdirt Army" (Sorry Leo 4 the lack of a better name) and all throw some support to the little guy for taking the high road. Buy it, recommend it, link to them do what we all can do to help the little guy continue to... out innovate the big guys and take the high road...........

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Not meeting a market demand

    On the other hand, it could be said that by not releasing the game for iPhone, Twisted was not meeting a market demand. You get all over the large labels/studios/companies for that, so maybe Twisted can take a lesson, too. If there is a market demand that you aren't meeting, someone is going to fill it, whether through copying, piracy, or something else.

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 24th, 2011 @ 9:26am

      Re: Not meeting a market demand

      That's quite true. Not taking legal action is a good idea; satisfying that demand before anybody else could would have been even better.

       

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