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Spry Fox sues 6waves Lolapps over Triple Town clone Yeti Town

Clone wars

Summary News Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  
Product: Triple Town | Developer: Spry Fox | Publisher: Spry Fox | Genre: Puzzle
For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneOtheriPad
Triple Town Android, thumbnail 1
Spry Fox CEO David Edery is taking a stand. Unable to ignore the similarities between 6waves Lolapps's Yeti Town and Spry Fox's own Triple Town, he has filed a copyright infringement suit against the mobile game publisher's "blatant copy of Triple Town".

Speaking on his personal blog, David explains how 6waves was drafted in to publish Triple Town on Facebook, but pulled out of the deal on the exact same day that the company's suspiciously similar Yeti Town was published.

David writes, "It's bad enough to rip off another company. To do so while you are pumping them for private information (first, our game design ideas, and later, after the game was launched on Facebook, our private revenue and retention numbers) is profoundly unethical by any measure."

This town ain't big enough for the both of us

While developers have always drawn inspiration from other games, it is becoming commonplace to see direct clones of successful mobile titles being released within months of the originals.

Only last week, NimbleBit's Ian Marsh took to Twitter to lambast Zynga's Dream Heights for ripping off his company's hugely successful strategy game Tiny Tower.

Incredibly, PG reported this morning on the appearance of a second Tiny Towers clone called Small Street.

Not content to merely voice his disapproval at Yeti Town's all-too-faithful tribute to Triple Town, David has opted to take the matter to the courts.

Twin town

He writes, "This was a difficult decision for Danc and I. We are not enthusiastic about the prospect of spending our time in court as opposed to making games... Unfortunately, it is our opinion that 6waves has behaved in a reprehensible and illegal manner, and we can not, in good conscience, ignore it."

David has published the full complaint, which lists in exhaustive detail the similarities between Triple Town and Yeti Town.

The question is, if the courts rule in Spry Fox's favour, how many mobile titles could be accused of the same infringement?

PocketGamer.biz / Gamasutra

Reviewer photo
James Gilmour 30 January 2012
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Jan 2012
Post count:
besttoro | 03:22 - 31 January 2012
(cont) and ideas cannot be copyrighted, but the expressions of those ideas can be. That's what's in the complaint... did you take the time to read it?

Building on/improving upon previous work is on thing, but lazy cloning right down to the texts and even IAP structure/pricing, while pretending to do business together, really isn't acceptable.
Jan 2012
Post count:
besttoro | 03:15 - 31 January 2012
I find it curious, hawken, you seem to be leaving comments in many articles relating to this case exclaiming Yeti Town is a superior product... Are you associated with folks at 6waves/LOLAPPS? ;) It's fine if you personally like YT more, but if you look at the reviews in App Store, Triple Town is rated much better by the general public... (Also ppl are much more enthusiastic about reviewing TT. Look at the sheer # of reviews/ratings: Although YT has been out longer it has just 794 ratings, vs 3388 of TT, which has been out for about 10 days. I think authenticity wins out.)

But which game you like better is really aside the point here; presentations (i.e. graphics, effects, some of the feedback) differ slightly, and different people will have different preferences. The issue at hand is the manner in which the game was blatantly copied, which was wholesale, from the mechanic to the very specific game elements. Game mechanics
Jan 2012
Post count:
hawken | 20:52 - 30 January 2012
Nintendo have been doing this for years, as have probably every large games studio on the planet. Cool idea comes to you > steal it immediately. They grow and don’t look back, while the victim in this case, files a court order and bemoans the injustice they have faced.

You can’t copyright game ideas, this court motion has no chance. You can patent them, but I doubt theres a patent. And that is a good thing, our industry would be screwed if it were possible.

The irony of all of this is Yeti Town is the far superior product. I’ve played both, YT is far less annoying.
Nov 2011
Post count:
fett42 | 16:50 - 30 January 2012
Srpy Fox is just jealous that their game doesn't have Yetis in it. Yetis = far superior game any day of the week.

I think they are overreacting just a tad bit. Look at all of the Angry Bird clones, Cut the Rope Clones, and so on. No one is getting sued over those. I hope they don't win their case just for the simple fact that there will always be more clones of any basic game idea.