Indie developer Vlambeer is getting used to its games being cloned before final release, with the developer discovering today that its upcoming game Luftrausers
has a clone called SkyFar
on the iOS App Store. Freelance journalist Scott Nichols noticed the clone
today, following its App Store release on March 24.
"We obviously endured a bit of a scare when news arrived of Luftrausers
being cloned and released ahead of our own release schedule by another developer," Vlambeer lead Rami Ismail told us. "This time, however, it's not 'just' the idea of the game that has been cloned, but also the visual style. This gives us much more room to fight the whole thing, and we fully intend to."
Ismail continued, "The developer of the clone has gotten in touch with us after Twitter exploded and let us know that 'acttuly we genrated our assets, Codes and all newly' and that the gameplay as indicated on the screenshots 'is not there in game as in the screen shots. We just done those screnshots for public attraction'. They signed off with the note that 'we really dont think it links your game at all.'"
Vlambeer was famously at the heart of another cloning incident, when its 2010 browser-based game Ridiculous Fishing was cloned in 2011
, while the developer was in the process of porting it for the platform. Another key issue with that clone, Ninja Fishing
, was that it became a hit on the App Store. SkyFar
hasn't seen such traction.
"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," said Ismail. "Ultimately, we refuse to accept this as a part of our industry. We believe that showing our games to our fans early is a better way of developing Vlambeer games than keeping secrets and just dropping the final result on people when it's done."
Ismail tells us Vlambeer is "more than happy" to see games inspired by the company's work and encourage anyone to practice game design, but he feels the clones of Ridiculous Fishing and Luftrausers take inspiration too far.
"We're extremely exhausted from dealing with cloning and even though this is an important issue to stand up against, we had hoped that we could just release a game without the cloning debate happening for once."
"Now that we've got the chance, we'd also like to take a few seconds to use the clone as an argument towards why Luftrausers is almost certainly not coming to mobile - we just can't find a way to make it work as well as it should on touchscreen devices," Ismail concluded. "Luftrausers is still hitting PC, Mac, Linux, Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita
- with the latter being the most interesting device for those of you who would like to play Luftrausers on the go. We've been wrapping up development and we are on schedule to release the game later this spring."