Luftrausers Cloners Claim That Luftrausers Itself Is A Clone

Because, you know, they both feature planes and stuff.

by on 26th Apr, 2013

For those who haven't heard, yet another game has been shamelessly cloned and is currently being sold on either the Apple App Store of Android's Google Play marketplace is Vlambeer’s Luftrausers.

The WWII dogfight arcade-y simulator originated as a simple but mesmerizing Flash game that is currently because amped up for the PC, PS3, and PlayStation Vita.

The redux's release date is not too far down the road, but you can play its shameless copy, SkyFar by RubiqLab Labs at this moment. Provided that you feel like rewarding the efforts of blatant copycat artists.

Here's what the game looks like:

Now, compare that with Luftrausers. See any similarities?

There are two types of games that are ripped off for the poorly monitored smart phone market: triple AAA properties and indie games. In the case of the former, it's usually a piss poor attempt at emulation, one that is often nowhere close to the source material.

But rip offs of indie games are generally far worse, since their simplicity, relatively speaking, can be sufficiently mirrored on such devices.

Needless to say, the creators of Luftrausers are not impressed. They recently issued a statement, over at Touch Arcade, which includes their reaction to how some feel that Vlambeer should basically deal with the clone, since it's an inevitability:

We obviously endured a bit of a scare when news arrived of LUFTRAUSERS being cloned and released ahead of our own release schedule by another developer. This time, however, it's not 'just' the idea of the game that has been cloned, but also the visual style.  This gives us much more room to fight the whole thing, and we fully intend to. The developer of the clone has gotten in touch with us after Twitter exploded and let us know that 'acttuly we genrated our assets, Codes and all newly' and that the gameplay as indicated on the screenshots 'is not there in game as in the screen shots. We just done those screnshots for public attraction'. They signed off with the note that 'we really dont think it links your game at all'.

We simply can't deal with the stress of another cloned game, so we've gotten in touch with Apple and Google to see if there is a way for for the issue to be resolved without us getting involved in yet another clone war. We're more than happy to see games inspired by our works and we encourage anyone to practice game design and development by recreating personal favorites - but the clones of both Ridiculous Fishing and LUFTRAUSERS take 'inspiration' a step too far and into the marketplace. We're extremely exhausted from dealing with cloning and even though this is an important issue to stand up against, we had hoped that we could just release a game without the cloning debate happening for once.

Ultimately, we refuse to accept this as a part of our industry. We believe that showing our games to our fans early is a better way of developing Vlambeer games than keeping secrets and just dropping the final result on people when it's done.

As for RubiqLab Labs, they have shot back with a response of their own on their own Facebook page, which Kotaku recently reposted. Apparently, they feel they are justified since they feel Luftrausers itself is a clone:

The Game luftrauser is cloned by ( SKYSTRIKE , JETSTRIKE & many more )
And your game also came under pixel art.
Earlier games likes SkyStricks & Jetstrike also were in pixel art.
SO WHAT DO YOU SAY IS THAT REALLY YOUR OWN IDEA ?
We dont think so.

Both Skystrike and Jetstrike appear to be old Amiga games that indeed feature aerial dogfights, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. It's akin to calling Tekken Tag Tournament a rip off of Street Fighter 2. They're both fighting games, right?

Kotaku also recently posted a response that they personally received. Again, they feel as if they are in the right:

In present-day law, it is upheld that game mechanics of a video game are part of its software, and are generally ineligible for copyright. The United States Copyright Office specifically notes: "Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles.

RubiqLab Labs's MO is pretty blatant and clear. If you check out the source YouTube page of the video above, the description basically instructs the viewer to guy buy the game and give it five stars. There are also several comments that praise SkyFar is the high heavens, and they are quite clearly written by the same two people.

There are many blatant rip off artists out there, but so few are as brazen as RubiqLab Labs, almost to a comical degree. Hopefully justice will be served in the end, for Vlambeer's benefit and all hard working indie game makers out there.

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