"The Jackals" are Back--On your iPhone

Matt Barton's picture

One of Nolan Bushnell's favorite diatribes is about the people he calls "jackals," those scrupulous copycats that, in his view, ripped off his ideas time and time again. Despite the fact that some accuse him of doing the same thing to Ralph Baer (especially Mr. Baer), it's hard not to sympathize with hard-working creators who see their profits annihilated by shameless clones and rip-offs. There's a nice example of it at Ars Technica, which documents a flagrant "The Blocks Cometh" knock-off (including art and name!) on the iPhone. According to the article, victims have few options other than to hire lawyers, which as well all know is well beyond the means of most indies.

I'm not sure what the remedy is here, though. The other extreme would be just as bad, with existing owners claiming that even the remotest derivative was a clone. What exactly is the line between a derivative and a clone, though?


Joined: 01/21/2009
As I said in one of the Games

As I said in one of the Games making threads.. Phone games is where its at. take an old game an "re imagine it" and instant cash (if you can program)..... The most successfull games are just knock offs.. Angry birds is just WORMS, which was just an old game originaly called Howitzer (or somthing like that). Of course.. the PC games are the same.. Torchlight is just titans Quest is just Diablo is just Crusader, is just... etc...

The Phone market is a bit more dareing then the PC market, out right copies are slipping through the cracks.

One thing I think the PHONE market has done is introduced more people to games... when I was in High school no girls played arcade games.. maybe you talked one into one... but they had pretty much zero interst.. the last two girls i have dated (argubly they where both 10+ years younger then me) liked video games, somthing Imust admit threw me ofor a loop... so used to not doing anything game related with "dates" around, i just want sure how to deal with it... video gaming is truely going out to ANYBODY.. old, young, male, female.. and phones and cheap knock of consoles are the keys.. and the changing entertainment landscape...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.