Bizarre Creations Clamps Down On Game Clones

What happens when a developer produces a unique and popular game? There are downsides to producing a successful game, and in the case of one developer, the problem has to do with clones, or copycats of their games.

Bizarre Creations put their game up on Xbox Live Arcade. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, received very favorable reviews for its unique gameplay, originality and visuals. However, upon the release of the title, other developers have published several clones of the game. These clones are not exact replicas of GW:RE, but bear uncanny resemblances to the original. This has caused the company some major headaches, because they feel the inferior clones of their title cause brand confusion, and take a bite out of sales for the original.

On clone in particular, Grid Wars, is the focus of their concerns. Bizarre Creations said, "This potentially takes sales away from our product and weakens our brand – especially if-and-when we decide to launch a version of GW: RE on a platform where a clone is already available. The fact is that GW: RE is our Intellectual Property. The game was created as an entirely original product, and as a package, bears no relevant similarity to any pre-existing title.”

Grid Wars has now been shut down on Xbox Live Arcade. Mark Incitti, who was responsible for the clone, said he doubted that Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was really an original idea in his comment made to Games Industry. "I understand that they need to protect their ideas (or their particular amalgam of pre-existing ideas)."

As to the removal of his game from Xbox Live Arcade, "I don’t know if legally they have the right to shut it down – but I took it down out of respect for their developers and the cool work they do. I don’t really think it is affecting their sales on Xbox 360–but if they do want to move into the PC market then it’s better if the confusion is cleared up. I hope that they are approaching the rest of the ‘clone’ makers with a [cease and desist] stance."

The game industry is deeply inbred with ideas that are gleaned from the competition. It is an accepted way of life. And like it or not, it is a state that won,t be going away anytime soon. But one thing is clear, as developers concentrate on making clones of their competitor,s titles, it means that less time is spent on developing original game ideas.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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