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Puzzle Games (Games)

PopCap Distressed Over 'CopyCat' Games 88

Posted by Zonk
from the calling-the-kettle-black dept., in an interview with PopCap Games chief creative officer Jason Kapalka, reports that the company is apparently a bit miffed at 'imitation games'. Puzzle games being what they are, Kapalka finds the number of Bejewel-like titles on the market frustrating. "Very few games are developed without reference to past games. There's always going to be titles that build on a previous mechanic or game. But there's a fine line between that and very bold-faced rip-offs that aren't adding anything to the game and are just trying to make a quick buck." Over at 1up, editor Ray Barnholt points out that PopCap is a funny company to be making that claim. Several of that group's most popular games are in turn tweaks or imitations of little-known Japanese puzzle titles from the 90s.
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PopCap Distressed Over 'CopyCat' Games

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  • Irony (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TheMadcapZ (868196) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @12:04PM (#19677869)
    Boy it runs thick within this story.
  • well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @12:06PM (#19677897) Homepage Journal
    as long as they don't start dragging people into court - they are entitled to 'feel' however they want about it.
  • Copying (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BlueLightSpecial (898144) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @12:09PM (#19677957) Journal
    I'm not sure if the copying their refering to is flat out copying, or say, the same game with a slightly tweaked look or rules to it, or if somebody is taking the base idea and improving off of it Personally, I don't see a problem with using an idea of something that works in your own product, using a sucessful idea and building off it encourages market competition, and helps to create a better product for the consumer, so i dont see why popcap is angry if somebody is using their base ideas (which it sounds like werent even theirs) to create something "new and improved" the only thing they'd be angry about is losing their market, and if that is so, they should quit complaining and work on developing something better
  • Re:Puzzle quest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JRaven (720) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:03PM (#19678711)
    The problem with Puzzle Quest is that the basic head-to-head bejeweled game is far too random. As a result, you spend the early part of the game suffering through that randomness until you get powered up... at which point the game is completely trivial, since you can kill most things in one turn.

    It's a nice concept, but it needs some serious tweaking.
  • Pot, Kettle, Black (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:29PM (#19679013)
    Popcap doesn't have a lot of room to cry here. Talismania is certainly an imitation of or at least highly derivative of the old Atari 5200 game Zenji. And, Super Collapse 3 certainly seems a lot like Breakout. Maybe I just don't understand the finer points of corporate whining.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2007 @01:34PM (#19679093)
    I dont see why popcap is angry if somebody is using their base ideas (which it sounds like werent even theirs) to create something "new and improved"

    Of course they are angry because they are afraid it means they will be making less money. They want to prevent people from producing products similar to theirs, in order to ensure that they are the only source of the product.

    Unfortunately for them, their product is not a substance, but an idea. Ideas don't work like substances. Just looking at a car doesn't instantly give you car-parts to distribute, but it does instantly give you an idea for a car design. The parts can be easily controlled, but the idea can't.

    This is a nice example of why the whole concept of intellectual property is such a farce. When is an idea a different idea? How many tweaks must be made? It is not possible to define absolute boundaries for this sort of thing, because ideas just don't work that way.

    The better response is to use ideas in a manner that befits how they work, rather than expecting to make money off an attempt at using ideas in a way that does not suit their natures, and trying to force everyone in the world to pretend that ideas work the way you think they should.
  • Imitation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mhannibal (1121487) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @02:05PM (#19679541)
    While PopCap might be the wrong company to make statements about copying ideas, they make a valid point. Casual and Indie games have been touted as bringing innovation to a stale market, yet most seem to be using the same tactic as the major companies - copy what works. Where are the innovators of the 80's and 90's - it seems there were so many different genres and ideas then?
  • by PylonHead (61401) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:39PM (#19683347) Homepage Journal
    the whole concept of intellectual property is such a farce

    Hah... we are on SlashDot, aren't we.

    Only here can somebody take an issue that doesn't involve intellectual property (a company angry about their ideas being ripped off, which isn't against the law), and use it to damn all intellectual property. . I swear we could have a story on walruses, and someone would twist it into a scathing attack on the RIAA.

    Copyright, for example, is pretty easy to understand and distinguish. If you copy my song, my movie, my program, without my license you have violated my copyright. If you copy my idea, you have not.

    Sure it can be more complicated than that, but 99% of copyright issues are just that simple.

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