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Twisted Pixel Won't Pursue Legal Action Against Capcom's Imitative  MaXplosion
Twisted Pixel Won't Pursue Legal Action Against Capcom's Imitative MaXplosion
January 12, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander, Kris Graft

January 12, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander, Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Twisted Pixel is publicly expressing its displeasure that a new Capcom mobile platformer, MaXplosion, looks awfully close to its own Xbox Live title 'Splosion Man -- a similarity widely noted in the consumer press, too.

Like 'Splosion Man, MaXplosion features a red, cartoonish hero in a laboratory-type environment, and both titles use the character's ability to detonate himself as part of the game mechanics.

Consumer weblog Joystiq spotted Twisted Pixel programmer Mike Henry's unhappy tweet: "MaXplosion gameplay video makes me sad," he wrote. "If you're going to outright steal a game, you should at least understand what makes it fun."

The studio's official Twitter feed took a more rueful stance: "Well, I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," it read.

Twisted Pixel co-founder Michael Wilford even said on his own feed that the studio had pitched 'Splosion Man to Capcom for publishing previously and had been rejected.

Twisted Pixel community manager Jay Stuckwisch told Gamasutra that the studio has no plans to take any sort of legal action. "We're too small a studio to do anything other than stay focused on making games," he wrote. "But we're overwhelmed with the response we've seen by fans and the press, so we hope Capcom learns their lesson from this." Capcom didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's not the first time an App Store title has surfaced that appears to borrow heavily from established IP. Likely aiming to gain a recognition advantage on a crowded marketplace where brand equity can go miles, mobile publisher Gameloft has also tried this tactic: For example, it released N.O.V.A. and Hero of Sparta on the App Store, intending to call back to Halo and God of War, respectively.

"The fact that 'Splosion Man was cloned wasn't too surprising to us -- we've seen it replicated before in several Flash games," Stuckwisch told us. "The thing that is surprising is that the culprit this time is Capcom, and it's a major mobile release for them."

"To me, it's a clear case of seeing how the mighty have fallen, and it's pretty sad because Capcom has inspired most of us here at Twisted Pixel to make games in the first place," he added.

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Nicolas Marinus
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Wow, this is really really sad. We've come to expect this kind of behaviour from bedroom game developers and even Gameloft (who filled a vacant space because the big boys were still frowning on mobile gaming). But from a major developer?


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Lol. Since Keiji Inafune left, I guess Capcom needed to start "borrowing" ideas to seem creative.

Ron Alpert
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suspect that maybe this was one of those "fell through the cracks" things where someone at Capcom thought they could get away with something (not understanding that Twisted Pixel does have some regard in both the independent and mainstream communities) and ended up making the whole publisher look bad. I wouldn't pin the blame directly it on the larger publisher as a whole, as a conscious action..


when a company is a publisher of games, no matter their size, every product that goes out into the world with their name on it, is a reflection of what that company's name means. I hope Capcom will step up to protect their name, and apologize to the dev properly - and give some kind of due restitution.

Tomiko Gun
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In other news...

Nintendo and iD are suing everyone who made a platformer and FPS respectively.

Tom Baird
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It's more than just the genre.

Character style, number of explosions, tint changes per explosion, story, etc....

To Compare:

It's all ok to make a game where your character can double or triple jump, or even make a game about a guy on fire from a lab, but it's passed from inspired by territory to cloned from in my eyes (and many others).