I’m a big fan of Capcom, probably because so many of their games have been childhood favourites. They’re responsible for gems like Ghost and Goblins, 1942, MegaMan and Street Fighter II (which revolutionised arcade fighters) were all integral parts of my formative years. They’re one of the world’s premier game developers – which makes one of their latest games all the more shocking, and repugnant.
Maxplosion, a Capcom platformer for iOS features a fiery character, caught in a lab whose escaping from scientists – and who elevates himself, not by jumping but by exploding. Sounds terribly familiar? That’s because it’s a complete rip off of Twisted Pixel’s smash Xbox Live Arcade hit, â€˜Splosion Man – right down to the theme, imagery and game dynamics.
“MaXplosion gameplay video makes me sad,”
says Twisted Pixel’s Mike Henry.
[pullquote]”Just sucks because we’re too small to do anything about it” – Michael Wilford[/pullquote]And though Capcom’s game does borrow a few elements from other games, it really is.
“If you’re going to outright steal a game, you should at least understand what makes it fun…borrowing is great. Hell, we do it all the time. But that game is a complete theft.”
It gets worse. According to Twisted Pixel CEO Michael Wilford, before publishing the game on Microsoft’s download service, the indie developer pitched ‘Splosion Man to Capcom – who turned the concept down. “Just sucks because we’re too small to do anything about it”, he said, “and I bet Capcom’s counting on that.”
Without the means for litigation, Twisted Pixel is now keen on a little one-upmanship. â€œGuess we’re just gonna have to make a better iPhone game than them,â€ said Wilford. â€œShouldn’t be hard.â€
It’s not unusual for clones of other games to appear on Apple’s devices – it’s recently affected South African developers QCF and their indie phenomenon, Desktop Dungeons. Hell, Gameloft’s entire modus operandi is cloning popular games for iOS, but for a publisher and developer of Capcom’s stature to blatantly rip off something like this just stinks. Whichever suited executive was responsible for greenlighting the videogame doppelganger – and the soulless developers behind the shameless copy need swift boots up their backsides.
Here are two videos of MaXplosion in action, demonstrating the nearly identical gameplay followed by a video of â€˜Splosion Man. More than a little similar, I’d say.
Think there might be a lawsuit brewing? Unlikely. In a later statement, Michael Wilford confirmed they wont be seeking any sort of legal action against the publisher.
“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.â€
“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.â€
Capcom, I am disappoint.
Last Updated: January 13, 2011