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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.
Capcom's recent release of action platformer Maxsplosion for the iPhone caused indie developer Twisted Pixel to call Capcom out for copying the concept from their successful Xbox Live game 'Splosion Man. Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom." The indie studio had even pitched the game to Capcom for publishing at one point, but were declined. Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."
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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

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  • Double-plagiarism É (Score:5, Interesting)

    by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday January 14, 2011 @04:41AM (#34875026) Homepage

    Judging by the video, Capcom's game looks like as much a rip-off of Splosion Man as of Sonic the Hedgehog.

    If this is the product of the wholly-owned subsidiary that used to be called Cosmic Infinity, then I'm not surprised. There were a shithole back when they were independent, cranking out such shovelware classics as "Who wants to be a millionaire", which was little more than "You don't know Jack" 's Java engine with a different set of questions. That shop was an embarassment to the Canadian tech industry, and for Capcom to buy them up, well that just shows how little they care about the mobile segment.

    For Twisted Pixel, this is not worth suing, because if push came to shove, Capcom will simply disown the studio and there will be nothing to go after. This is partially why big game houses farm out the shady/underdeveloped titles to subsidiaries: limited liability.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:01AM (#34875122)

    Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom."

    Substitute "Pirate Bay" for Capcom and you'll know how small sized artists feel.

  • Re:Isn't that legal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:26AM (#34875258) Homepage Journal
    Of course the thing that everyone seems to have forgotten is that when the tables were reversed and another company released a game [wikipedia.org] that was incredibly similar to Capcom's Street Fighter II Capcom wasted no time in suing Data East...... Does sort of make Capcom look a bit hypocritical.
  • by alexhs (877055) on Friday January 14, 2011 @05:28AM (#34875270) Homepage Journal

    We here at Capcom are saddened that [...] we can't go after Minecraft, Super Meat Boy etc without getting noticed.

    Well, I think that they don't care that much about simply getting noticed.
    They're saddened that they could lose sales because of bad publicity as a consequence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2011 @06:26AM (#34875488)

    Hi. OP again. Fwiw, I first heard the formulation above at an inventor's conference in Crystal City in, iirc, 1985 from one of the conference speakers. Funny thing, in his case he was mentioning it as the reason that he said most companies *won't* steal inventions. After all, afahcs, they also then followed the rule that if the lawsuit was likely and the damage solid, it was cheaper just to buy the frackin' thing.
    Problem is, as books like The Innovator's Dilemma lay out, Not Invented Here makes it, oddly enough, more acceptable in business culture to steal it than to yield the control that buying it is PERCEIVED to cost. As social scientists have long since documented, the perception is that loss of centralized control is a massive no-no on the path to maximized control, and thence profit, by a small executive core. Personally I think Barbara Garson's 70's and 80's books do the best job of documenting those behaviors though if you really want to dive into Google Scholar there's plenty of formal documentation by now. Start with "satisficing behavior".

    Which is interesting, isn't it?

    Ya see, the MBA programs have shifted to being training grounds for looters but, sometimes in their very midst, a few working economists and other social scientists have been documenting these behaviors all along.

    Which, btw, is part of why I suggested transparency and such instead of some crude "up against the wall, motherfuckers!" formulation. There actually ARE good folks in the relevant fields. But they're not setting the agenda. Why? Again, look at who endows the chairs, the programs, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2011 @06:48AM (#34875578)

    Look again at what you just wrote. "make the most of every resource you have". "make the most". What does that mean exactly? "every resource you have". What do you mean by that? And do they "have" things that first they need to steal? Do I "have" your possessions? The contents of your bank account? Is that a view of the world we should look at and say "that's only natural"? If that's not "too far" for you, what is?

    Not only that, ya see, you actually *don't* even always maximize gain by maximizing short-term profits.

    Societies are complex and even large corporations are, too. So overall impact can be very hard to judge. And the further a decisionmaker goes over into behaviors that are known to be destructive, the more they're gambling on their ability to simulate what will happen overall. And the faster the world changes, the less valid such an approach becomes.

    Also, fwiw, as a society we've become far more accepting of certain kinds of exploitative behavior. And other parts of the world aren't already. It's not an unaddressable given that this kind of thing will succeed. You see, if we know their algorithm, we can hack it and them. Which includes thing like calling them on what they train their students to see as "exogenous factors" that they're supposed to ignore. Reality, you see, has no "exogenous factors".

    So, what can folks like us do to shift that dynamic? Ask the Diaspora team, Linus Torvalds, Dave Weiner, or Anonymous and they'll all have usable suggestions to make.

  • More likely... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Friday January 14, 2011 @08:40AM (#34876106) Journal
    Capcom is just saddened they got caught... No worries if it sells enough copies, Apple will in turn copy it and then ban the original from their application store!

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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