It’s a story you’ve heard before. A game is published into X mobile app store, becomes popular, and without fail — dozens of copy-cat games begin flooding said market. Sometimes they’re blatant rip-offs, other times they’re a bit more subtle, copying core gameplay elements but changing up the style with different visuals and/or improved graphics.
A few days ago we saw Dong Nguyen’s latest masterpiece, Swing Copters, hit the Google Play Store and sure enough, a flood of copy-cat games followed suit. So many, in fact, it didn’t take Google long to pull out the ban hammer, removing copy-cats as quickly as they went up. But what if, in some crazy alternate reality, it was actually Swing Copters that was the copycat all along?
We know what you’re thinking: “Easy there, Keanu.” But this is exactly what landed on our desk after an email from indie game studio Open Name. The email claimed that Swing Copters stole their idea from a title, Bog Racer. The evidence? Other than launching first (back in July) — not much. And without picking sides, we will admit there are some definite similarities between the 2 titles.
In Bog Racer, the player taps on the screen to change the direction of their race car as it auto advances down a track — eerily similar to Dong’s Swing Copters. But given that the gameplay is so simple to begin with, it also possible this could merely be a coincidence (and we’re sure there are other titles pre-dating Bog Racer that feature similar gameplay). Check out the Bog Racer trailer down below to for yourself what we’re talking about.
So, exactly what is Open Name looking to accomplish from all this? Well, more than just bragging rights, that’s for sure. They’re so positive that Swing Copters stole their game idea they’re looking to take Swing Copters down completely, having it removed from all app stores for infringing their original IP. Here’s the statement we received from Open Name:
“We will use all of our modest means to restore justice, and we intend to apply a request that Swing Copters be removed from the app stores. We are well aware that our chances are very slim, which is why we ask for the support of everyone who is partial to our cause.”
If that sounds harsh, we should note that in the light of Google removing Swing Copters copycats from the Play Store, Bog Racer is now nowhere to be found. While we wait for an official statement, it’s entirely possible Bog Racer was seen as just another Swing Copters copycat title and is ironically enough, what could have gotten them removed from Google Play. Ouch.
As for final judgement, we’ll leave that in your hands. What do you guys think? Given the swift removal of Swing Copters “clones” from app stores, should Swing Copters itself be removed for copying Bog Racer? You can vote in our poll down below.