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Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the all-the-way-to-the-bank dept.

Games 163

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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"Controversey"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34874908)

/. readers 'saddened' by misspelling of "controversy" in the title.

Re:"Controversey"? (4, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34874958)

Clearly not the same.

Heck, I can't see any [ecetia.com] similarities at all [apple.com] .

As if they don't lose that argument already at the name.

Re:"Controversey"? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875920)

Its this kind of thieving corporate bullshit that really makes my blood boil. I mean how can anyone> with a good idea approach anyone for investment without the risk of it being lifted wholesale? You can't patent an idea, all you can do is show it and pray the mealy mouthed oily headed gordon gekko wannabe MBA across the table from you doesn't know that. Boycott Capcom, let them get that icy sinking feeling in their gut for a change.

Yes, I know whereof I speak.

Re:"Controversey"? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876232)

It's not the first time though, so I'm kinda being a hypocrite.

http://www.forevergeek.com/wp-content/media/2007/09/super-mario-bros.gif [forevergeek.com]
http://www.studio-quena.be/cyborgjeff/blog/wp-content/uploads/games/giana.gif [studio-quena.be]

It's cool that it found its way into the DS though:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9YUX1zjnR4 [youtube.com]

Re:"Controversey"? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876446)

Is it the same? The Wikipedia article says they copied SMB after it launched - and considering it launched two year later than SMB, it doesn't surprise me.

Re:"Controversey"? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876766)

I had no idea one of the games wasn't released yet. Heck I haven't even read the fucking article. I think I saw part of some video clips :)

I thought the first game was released on Xbox live.

Re:"Controversey"? (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877428)

You make whoever you present it to sign an NDA, which you get notarized before you ever speak to them. It's what I've done whenever I've approached a 3rd party with any of my ideas. It takes a day to do and is totally worth it.

Re:"Controversey"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875010)

Let alone a link to a Twitter post.

Re:"Controversey"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875012)

Prince (formerly known as the Artist with a weird symbol) must have edited that.

Re:"Controversey"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875848)

I always thought the American spelling of whisky was silly, but this is getting ridiculous.

Amazing coincidence.. (2, Funny)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34874946)

The games look a lot simlar, in gameplay and in the name, but I'm sure it's a coincidence. Poor Capcom, getting bashed like that.. Like they've ever rehashed a successful game concept!

Re:Amazing coincidence.. (0)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875180)

nearly identical characters AND the moving walls to allow you to go up?
That's far more than coincidence.

Re:Amazing coincidence.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875330)

what would be coincidence is someone coming along accusing fleeped of sarcasm.

Re:Amazing coincidence.. (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875350)

I accuse you of sarcasm!

This could get complicated (4, Funny)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34874986)

I know corporations are people now and everything but I find their expressions sometimes difficult to interpret. Can we ask that they include a "current mood" icon on their corporate website or something so we can all avoid potentially embarrassing situations?

Re:This could get complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875090)

Bonus: All employees are given free mood rings on joining!

Re:This could get complicated (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877322)

Does that come with the identity disk?

Re:This could get complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875686)

On the internet there seem to be plenty of people who claim to "love" or "hate" corporations. It is only natural that the corporations would respond in turn.

Re:This could get complicated (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876292)

I understand corporate emotions now. As soon as I read the title, I knew Capcom had plagiarized something.

So here is the corporate-to-human emotion conversion table:

Corporate --- Human (Example as used in corporate-speak)

Sad --- Remorseless denial of guilt in the face of overwhelming evidence (As seen in the title, or "we are saddened about the situation at our Chinese manufacturing plant")

Happy --- Having a Greedgasm (As in "we are happy to report record 4th quarter earnings")

Proud --- Cautiously Optimistic (as in "Microsoft is proud of the security enhancements to our latest products")

Pleased --- Cackling like a Supervillain (as in "we are pleased to be found innocent in this case")

Regret --- Polite Indifference (as in "we regret to inform you that your services are no longer needed" or "we regret to inform you that your personal information was stolen from our database")

Disapproval - Insane with Rage (as in "Ubisoft disapproves of piracy")

Remorse - Grudging, hollow, and remorseless admission of guilt (as in "BP expresses remorse at the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico")

Re:This could get complicated (4, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876544)

Silence --- Thankful no one seems to have noticed "Phew we seem to have got away with that, everyone is blaming BP"

as in the Gulf Oil Spill :
  Hyundai - Built the Deepwater Horizon
  Transocean - Owned the Deepwater Horizon
  Halliburton - Contractors doing the work, and Maintaining the Rig
  Anadarko, MOEX - Co-Operators of the field and Rig

Re:This could get complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34877658)

Great list, thanks. :-)

Double-plagiarism É (5, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875026)

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.

Re:Double-plagiarism (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875128)

"We here at Capcom are saddened that we have been caught ripping off this game, now we know that we can't go after Minecraft, Super Meat Boy etc without getting noticed."

Re:Double-plagiarism (4, Interesting)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875270)

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.

Re:Double-plagiarism (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875598)

>>They're saddened that they could lose sales because of bad publicity as a consequence.

I thought all publicity was good publicity? =)

Re:Double-plagiarism (2)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875308)

To be fair, they could probably code a better Minecraft than the official client and server that Mojang have been putting out. :3

Re:Double-plagiarism (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875358)

As I said on Youtube:

Moving on with my development of Ultra man, Leet Fighter II, next up Resilient Evil! ;)

Re:Double-plagiarism É (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875592)

I see a pattern here where these big cat corps think thay can just pick up ideas from little devs and shoulder it out.

Sadly this behaviour gets noticed only here on /., Gamasutra and other similar niche websites. The mob will buy the Capcom version in the end anyway.

Re:Double-plagiarism É (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876364)

they're sad, and that resolves everything!

Re:Double-plagiarism É (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877676)

What is your take on Tetris and Super Mario clones then? Furthermore, what about the derivatives?

Re:Double-plagiarism É (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876000)

Although to an individual developer, suing someone with limited liability can still result in a reasonably sizable settlement; possibly far less than Capcom might make on the rip-off, but more than the indie dev was likely to make on it, which is arguably a reasonable solution.

What they won't get is 10% of Capcom which, ironically, may mean that the studio is more likely to go with the settlement rather than tying it up for decades.

That's it? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875036)

I mean, I see the similarities and everything, and if I were them I'd go after Capcom.

Of course, maybe their motivation for not doing so has nothing to do with Capcom being huge... maybe they're afraid of some Jihadist group claiming prior art.

MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875042)

If the likely net cost of the lawsuit times the likeliness of that lawsuit succeeding is smaller than the expected revenue minus the goodwill hit, then move ahead.
If Damages * Likelihood is greater than Revenue, then proceed.
Just as simple as that. Just like any other lesson from school. I've been amazed and disgusted at how openly some executives have admitted this to me. And they almost always phrase it precisely like that.
After more than a few drinks.
Usually then they laugh and look smug.
Our executive culture is fundamentally rotten. Fundamentally. Every fucking "premium" MBA program in America should be forced to publish their curricula and have outside experts analyze their lectures. Seriously. Because these days this kind of criminality is quite literally taught in our business schools. You think I'm exaggerating? Get a few drinks into a graduate of a high status MBA program on a day that they're feeling good and ask them.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (4, Insightful)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875168)

If the likely net cost of the lawsuit times the likeliness of that lawsuit succeeding is smaller than the expected revenue minus the goodwill hit, then move ahead.
If Damages * Likelihood is greater than Revenue, then proceed.
Just as simple as that. Just like any other lesson from school. I've been amazed and disgusted at how openly some executives have admitted this to me. And they almost always phrase it precisely like that.
After more than a few drinks.
Usually then they laugh and look smug.
Our executive culture is fundamentally rotten. Fundamentally. Every fucking "premium" MBA program in America should be forced to publish their curricula and have outside experts analyze their lectures. Seriously. Because these days this kind of criminality is quite literally taught in our business schools. You think I'm exaggerating? Get a few drinks into a graduate of a high status MBA program on a day that they're feeling good and ask them.

As much as I hate the whole concept of management school are you sure you're not confusing correlation with causation? It may not be part of the curricula - perhaps only criminal scum of this ilk are attracted to the degree in the first place and don't need to be taught to behave unethically?

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875288)

No, he's right. I've been taught to "imitate" things that show promise. They don't exactly teach you to break the law, but they give examples where obvious plagiarism has been dealt with outside of the court system, so I guess they think it's OK then. The underlying principle is "don't get caught, and if you do get caught, see if you can get away with it."

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876464)

No, he's right. I've been taught to "imitate" things that show promise. They don't exactly teach you to break the law, but they give examples where obvious plagiarism has been dealt with outside of the court system, so I guess they think it's OK then.

Are there any known situations where someone or something has intentionally *exploited* another company's likelihood of screwing them over?

Example. I have some arbitrary intellectual property (let's call this the "MacGuffin [wikipedia.org] ") that would plausibly have some real and very non-trivial value if offered to other companies on the free market.

In reality, I know that one or more of these companies are likely to be *not* acting in good faith and will probably attempt to rip it off if they can get away with it- say, if they think I'm a small developer with no resources to sue.

They rip me off, and actually, it turns out that- unknown to them- that I had better documented and protected my idea and had more resources to sue them than I gave the impression of. I'm able to get more money than I would have otherwise, possibly via an out-of-court settlement.

Of course, they can't use "we ripped them off because we thought we'd be able to get away with it" as a defence!

This would, of course, require some shrewd judgement on the part of the MacGuffin's original creators/owners.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875376)

If they are all using a similar phrase to decide whether or not to go ahead with legally dubious actions, that suggests they are getting the information from the same source rather than lots of morally questionable people all coming to the same decision independantly.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875384)

Now now. I'm sure a job with the sole goal is earning as much money as possible attracts all kinds of social, creative and non-materialistic people.

Yes, I meant precisely what I wrote. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875406)

Hi. OP here. no, I meant precisely that executives have admitted to me that this approach is taught in business schools. Which should be no great surprise since it's none too far a stretch from the philosophies of people like Alfred P. Sloane who organized and endowed many of these schools in the first place.
http://streetcarstospaceships.typepad.com/s2s/2008/12/i-dont-want-to-live-in-a-society-run-by-a-bunch-of-generals.html

Iacocca's autobiography, oddly enough, goes into quite a bit of detail about this. And the Harvard Business School just sponsored the publishing of a business philosophy book that does an impressive job of pretending not to have noticed the systemic issues involved at all.

Look into the schools. The ivies. University of Chicago. Stanford. From what I can tell Yale's SOM is a bit different but not all that much.

This sh*t is canon now. They call it things like "a statutory obligation to maximize shareholder value" and various other mahooah but it adds up to profit for executives being the value to maximize with all else to be managed as annoyances, intrusions, and/or crops to be harvested and resources to be liquidated and stripped of value as quickly as possible.

Ayn Rand's disciples have merged with Laffer's mock scientists, media manipulation, and accumulated robber baron techniques to create a staggeringly powerful but short-sighted looter culture that is, quite literally, in danger of taking over and destroying the world. Ask the folks in Brisbane if I'm exaggerating.

Some history and help to FTFMs. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875366)

Hey, at least this way TwistedPixel are getting some free advertising. I'm not that interested in the game yet, but at least I'm now aware of it.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875388)

It's not an ethics program, it's a business program. To do as well as you can in any system, you need to make the most of every resource you have and stretch the rules as far as possible.

I wouldn't do these things myself, but I can see the "business sense" in your little formula. Whoever can bend the rules the most has a good chance of being the most successful, as long as they don't go too far.

but reality is more complex than the formula (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:but reality is more complex than the formula (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875724)

I didn't say to make the most of the short term or to try to screw people over necessarily. IMO that is not good business sense unless you're one of those douchy CEOs looking to make a quick buck and then jump ship. I'm just saying that if it's legal, then I don't blame a company for doing such things.

For example with the first Saints Row game it was obviously a rip off of GTA and I found that kind of despicable. For some reason I decided to try the second game though, when it got really cheap, and I found it was actually better than GTA III and therefore worlds more fun than GTA IV. It took the same concept and improved upon it, even if basically the whole style and interface seemed a direct rip-off of GTA III.

If a manufacturer is actually doing something that hurts its customers, like the infamous formula from Fight Club about the cost of a recall to fix a fatal design flaw vs the cost of lawsuits from customers dying, then that is pretty despicable, and certainly doesn't inspire me to buy a vehicle from that manufacturer even if my own vehicle is 100% safe.

If on the other hand it's copying a game, and the copying is fairly obvious, but not actually illegal, then I don't have so much of a problem. In this specific case, I think what is going on probably is illegal on some grounds though, especially character design. At least TwistedPixel are getting some free publicity out of it even if they don't have much chance of getting anything worthwhile from suing Capcom.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875700)

It's not an ethics program, it's a business program.

You could argue that they're first and foremost teaching students to break the law if it makes economic sense. Isn't business supposed to work within the confines of the law?

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875778)

Everybody is supposed to work within the confines of the law, but we all tend to push it if we think we can get away with it. Everyone goes over the speed limit a little bit sometimes (probably most of the time). That's generally ignored by the Police and not seen as too bad by other people. Some people go over it by a lot and risk getting caught, but they still obviously consider the risk worth it.

With grey areas like this I don't have too much of a problem. If you can copy a game and make it a better game, rather than just make it a cheap cash-in on the original, then that is respectable (see Saints Row - it's a blatant rip-off of GTA, but I've discovered that it's very good - better than GTA even - and therefore I respect the developers for it). That is IMO healthy competition and good for the consumer.

What I consider going too far are the anti-competitive practices that Microsoft and Intel have been convicted of, paying people off not to sell competitor's products, etc. That is speeding 100mph above the limit, next to a school, at lunchtime. It's despicable, and I'm not buying any of their products where I can avoid it (obviously I can't avoid it completely as I have to buy computers for work, and sometimes there are no reasonable alternatives).

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (2)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876028)

I've never liked the speeding analogies when it comes to this concept of breaking laws a little. There is a fundamental difference between a speed limit (note limit) and assault and battery. Granted t hat when I go over the limit by a few the cops may or may not fine me, but its not jail time. It is not an arrest. If I throw a punch, even a small one at another and a cop sees this and the victim presses charges its a crime with the potential for jail time.

Speed limits are about revenue first, safety second which is why enforcement is arbitrary. It is not a crime against another citizen, but against the state. Most laws deal with the interaction between two citizens (at the least) and have far more impact when broken. If you are "pushing the limit" of the law in things like theft, fraud, embezzlement, graft; these things have much more consequence then simple speeding. So try again with a better justification for breaking the law then speeding.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876366)

Yeah I think you're taking the analogy a little far. It was not meant to be any kind of justification for breaking the law, it was an example of grey areas before the law is being broken.

In the analogy, the point where a businessman is actually breaking the law IRL would be the point where a Police official considers that they have to pull someone over for speeding - which is usually not just from going over the speed limit by a couple of mph. Any point before they need to be pulled over is a grey area where the person driving is probably being much safer by paying more attention to the road than making sure they're sticking exactly at the limit. Anything where you're just getting a warning is a grey area. Even if you're doing 32mph on purpose, you can't really get a ticket for it (assuming for the purposes of this analogy that it is safe to currently be doing 32mph, dry roads, no pedestrians around, etc), and nobody is going to point at you and say you're evil.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876488)

If that explanation still sounds like a justification then I'm sorry, perhaps a better example would be a noisy neighbour. The neighbour might know that they are being so noisy that you can hear them, and even though you may be annoyed at it, unless it's past a certain time of day, or above a certain noise level, you can't really do anything about it but ask them to keep it down. Maybe they'll be nice and comply, maybe not.

Again, don't try to take the analogy too far, I'm just trying to illustrate how people could still be acting "within the confines of the law", while still being outside what we might think of as acceptable behaviour. In business this type of behaviour can obviously be beneficial in some situations, where you are complying with the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876762)

Only if you're in some godforsaken university, they really do try to teach us ethics in decent MBA Degrees you know, it's part of the course curriculum.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877050)

There's a big difference between knowing what ethics are, and being an ethical person.

I've never taken a business management course in my life btw, I've just witnessed situations where people take liberties with what may be considered ethical for their own benefit, or those of a business. Often such things can bite you in the ass (and deservedly so), but people who get close to the line without stepping over it, obviously have a good advantage when it comes to things like taxes etc. By all accounts most companies do their utmost to avoid taxes by offshoring parts of the business for example. Even if such things are legal, not everyone would consider them ethical, as it's taking money away from the local economy, etc.

they say it while Drunk ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875464)

Woot. Your executive have a conscience , since they shame themselves saying it while not drunk. here around they openly say it while sober, as long as the cost of doing something is above the benefit , don#t do it, if it is below, do it. That include patent and copyright infringement.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

spamuell (1208984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875576)

You don't need an MBA to teach this - it's simple economics. Force MBA programs to publish their courses if you will. People will continue to act in this way as long as the cost and probability of having to pay out remain relatively low.

Or in other words: don't hate the playa, hate the game.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875646)

A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

I don't know about you, but the fact that something like this can even happen is an egregious loophole in the law.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875926)

Really? Do you ride in cars at all? Because then you're just as culpable. We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive... perhaps so expensive that no one could afford them, or at least a very few.

Everyone is making this trade-off all the time. It's harsh to see it laid out so explicitly, but it's actually there all the time.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876370)

Exactly. Consider 4 or 5 years ago, I was at Firestone getting new tires put on my car. There was a customer there who was told by the Firestone rep that their car needed ball joints, shocks, tires. Basically the front end had been let go long enough that all of the normal wear parts needed swapped.

The customers got new tires and maybe an oil change. And due to their budget, the cheapest of the cheap tires. Now THAT should scare everyone; because no matter how well you take care of you, someone else is typically unable to keep to that same level.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

coolmadsi (823103) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877402)

We could make cars much, much safer, but they would then be much, much more expensive...

I've heard that attaching a large spike sticking out of the steering wheel would make drivers drive very, very carefully.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876548)

Now, should we initiate a lawsuit? Take the number of games in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of winning, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is more than the cost of a lawsuit, we don't do one.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876638)

This was taught to me in a network security class as "Risk Management". Of course, it was being applied to questions like "how much should I spend on security measures for facility x?" The big difference with MBAs is that ethical implications are a possibility but not a deterrent.

Re:MBA programs now teach this kind of approach. (1)

jammer170 (895458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877344)

I haven't heard it from the graduates, but I have read about it in various management books used in those programs. It isn't even a "hidden secret". Everything a manager does is measured against what makes the most profit for the least expenditure. If stealing from someone and surviving a lawsuit is "measured" as cheaper and less risky than developing an original title or licensing the original title, then that's their mandate. All of them will openly admit morality has no place in business.

"That's what she said..." (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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:"That's what she said..." (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875398)

Or substitute it for the RIAA, who last week were discovered to have been illegally selling songs over and above the number that they were legally licensed to sell, and not giving any of the profit to the artists.

Re:"That's what she said..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875734)

And were punished to... pay the licenses that were due.

Re:"That's what she said..." (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875796)

By the sounds of it, they settled for cheaper than the amount that they'd set aside in case of lawsuits, so somehow I still think they came out on top. For one thing they were still making interest on the money that they'd set aside. The interest on 50M over a few years is not to be sniffed at.

Re:"That's what she said..." (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875946)

So the punishment was to do exactly what they were supposed to do. Exactly how is that justice? Or, for that matter, punishment? How does it discourage them from doing the exact same thing over and over again, knowing that sometimes, they'll get away with it and that when they don't, they lose nothing over what they would have paid anyway?

And that's not even counting that this was a settlement, most likely for far less than they actually owed.

reading wikipedia (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875158)

Capcom gave out a response that the games were due to coincidence? Wouldn't it have been better for them to say nothing at all?

Re:reading wikipedia (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877136)

Yeah that's really dumb, they want to win back their fans trust and they do that by telling a big lie. They really must take us all for idiots; I can't wait to see an article from them discussing piracy. Keep this in your bookmarks folks.

Typo. (3, Insightful)

hldn (1085833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875164)

Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was copied independently by Capcom Mobile.

fixed that for you.

maxsplosion is a blatant copy of splosion man. i wrote a short story in 3rd grade where a man named flilligan got stranded on a desert island with several other castaways, and that wasn't even as blatant as this.

Re:Typo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875268)

did flilligan ever get off the island?

Re:Typo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876226)

But then he had to go back ?

Isn't that legal? (2)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875184)

copying the concept

Isn't that perfectly allowed, as long as they don't copy any actual code, data, or trademarks? If cloning a concept is a problem, then there are a lot of open source projects and indie games in trouble :S

Re:Isn't that legal? (3, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875240)

Depends. Whilst Copyright typically doesn't protect the expression of an idea, it can do so within a limited set of circumstances, specifically those that meet the standard of Substantial Similarity [wikipedia.org] . There's a bunch of competing tests to establish if substantial similarity exists, they can all be found in the linked article, but in general if the work in question is so similar as to raise judicial eyebrows then there's a pathway for legal intervention.

You're free to write a story about a wizarding school somewhere in the remote parts of the UK, you're fine writing a story involving said wizarding students fighting against some great evil, you're on shakey ground when the heroic lightning-bolt scarred Harry Motter and his two friends (one poor, the other both a girl and smart) battle the forces of wizardy prejudice, and you're probably going bankrupt if you go ahead and skip the pretense. It's all a matter of degree really.

Re:Isn't that legal? (3, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875258)

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.

Re:Isn't that legal? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875284)

Woops, I did forget to add that Capcom eventually lost the suit, so maybe they interpreted that as "borrowing" ideas to the point where you only change one thing is ok.....

Re:Isn't that legal? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875426)

Data East also released http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate_Champ>Karate Champ, the first side on beat'em up, 4 years before Street Fighter came out.. so while the Fighter's History poster and style does look very much like Street Fighter, you could still make the case that Capcom were the first to actually copy anything in this instance.

Re:Isn't that legal? (1)

Raumkraut (518382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875278)

Precisely.
I think an appropriate level of criticism would be: "Bad show, old bean", followed by a fair amount of tutting.

Re:Isn't that legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875368)

If cloning a concept is a problem, then there are a lot of open source projects and indie games in trouble :S

And damned near every microsoft program to boot.

Re:Isn't that legal? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875442)

Pretty much. Ideas and game mechanics can't be copyrighted. Which is a good thing. Very few games are particulrly original, but a lot of them have original twists that then become the standard. Graphics, code and data are copyrighted. Level design probably is (I doubt there's been a ruling on the matter but I see no argument that there shouldn't be).

Some aspects can be trademarked. A Pac-man clone with the same main character would be a trademark infringemnt. Actually so would the character in a completelty different type of game. Some aspects can even be patented. Fortunately this is not a common practice. Such things have the be explicitly applied for any the concepts involved in this particular game may not apply.

Re:Isn't that legal? (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875958)

Some aspects can even be patented. Fortunately this is not a common practice.

... yet.

Translation: (4, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875192)

"We are sad that someone noticed, and hope that people will forget that we did this."

Re:Translation: (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875652)

No their statement is perfectly true. I'm sure that some lonely PR guy really is saddened that they work for an unethical megacorporation for penuts while their CEO wipes his arse with hundred dollar bills after shitting on indie developers.

Dont need a lawsuit (1, Informative)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875208)

Bad publicity for Capcom and good publicity for Twisted pixel.
Capcom being a huge established studio with multiple franchises definitely does not need the bad publicity but for a small indie studio any publicity is good publicity.

fuc4er (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875414)

Per1form keeping [goat.cx]

PICTURES! (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875420)

This article really needs pictures.

Game plagiarism is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875446)

Last time I checked game plagiarism was a good thing. As long as the game has different levels, it's a great way to play more of a game you liked. It also makes game developers improve over the same formula, making for better experiences.

Justice is one-way? (1, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875468)

Justice now is one-way only? And nore interesting, always on the side of the stronger? Strange, I suppose the whole idea of "justice" is protect the weak from the stronger...

Re:Justice is one-way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875540)

Are you seriously surprised by this? Seriously? Things have been this way for a loooooong time.

Re:Justice is one-way? (1)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875852)

Justice now is one-way only? And nore interesting, always on the side of the stronger? Strange, I suppose the whole idea of "justice" is protect the weak from the stronger...

Justice is justice, as defined by those who currently hold power. If the Civil War had gone the other way, it would have been Justice that kept the slaves in line. If the Revolution had gone the other way, it would have been Justice that upheld the British Empire's hold on the Colonies.

Re:Justice is one-way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875890)

Not in the great US of A... Here the justice system have evolved from lowly communist thinking of equality and fairness to a highly capitalist system of might is right and money is might...

As someone stated earlier in another thread (Where an independent developer had supposedly copied a big brand game) the laws are made to protect big corp. income from interference by small people.

So in essence:
Independent developer make game that remotely resembles (even in some ideas) big crop.'s game, he is put out of business and any profit me may have made is given to big crop.
Big corp. blatantly steal game from independent developer (code, graphics and all) independent developer is told to sod off.

Re:Justice is one-way? (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34875896)

There is no justice system in the US. There is only the legal system. Justice has no place in the legal system.

More than just a little bit similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34875494)

The entire gameplay and concept of the Capcom game is a blatant ripoff of the superior original. It's a terrible ripoff. The graphics are terrible, the game looks and feels phoned in.

The original has beautiful graphics, funny, original concept and excellent gameplay.

Go Capcom!

Capcom's glory days were in 1990 when Streetfighter II came out. Since then everything they've done has been a clone of that original franchise or a blatant ripoff of someone else's work. Frankly it's beyond pathetic that a huge company would have to behave this way.

More likely... (2, Interesting)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876106)

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!

You'd think (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876172)

They'd at least complain to apple and have the app taken down. A more clear copyright infringement there couldn't be. This, by the way, was what copyright law was intended for... and it's sad that it has little to no affect on cases like this anymore and is instead used by the very companies the laws are supposed to protect us against.

Obvious (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34876528)

"too small to take on a company like Capcom."

Which is exactly why Capcom can and did.

mod do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876596)

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Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34876886)

The only reason capcom is "saddened" is because twisted pixel was smart enough not to sue.

5 step plan (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34877546)

They've figured out a new way to reorder the 5 step plan!

Step 1: ???
Step 2: We may have no idea what to do, but a tiny little company that's way too small to sue us made a successful game!
Step 3: Copy their idea.
Step 4: Profit!
Step 5: Act remorseful when the similarities are inevitably discovered.
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