Pac-Avoid Dev Angry At King For Shifting the Blame About Cloning

Pac-Avoid Dev Angry At King For Shifting the Blame About Cloning

Pac Avoid

Pac-Avoid developer Matt Porter calls King "deceitful and hypocritical."

Last week developer Matthew Cox of Stolen Goose revealed King, the company behind Candy Crush Saga, asked another developer to quickly make a game strongly resembling Stolen Goose's game Scamperghost. King has since apologized and pulled the game. Matt Porter, the developer behind the cloned game Pac-Avoid, wrote a blog post explaining his side of the story and accused King of acting hypocritically.

Porter was a member of Epic Shadow when the incident occurred in 2009. He had worked with King before through Lars Jörnow, the games acquisition manager for King at the time, and had a poor living situation when King contacted him. According to Porter, when Jörnow explained the situation in which Stolen Goose "backed out of the deal" with King, Stolen Goose was painted in a negative light.

"I had a good working relationship with King then and was quite upset that someone would break the FGL [FlashGameLicense] terms and conditions," Porter said. "I initially thought the job was a little immoral, and a bit sketchy, but we had worked with King before, talked regularly, and Lars made these other developers seem like some really unprofessional jerks." Jörnow stressed the game needed to be made quickly in order to hit the market before Scamperghost did. Porter explained Epic Shadow took the game because it needed money and also because Jörnow made Stolen Goose seem like "the bad guys." Still uneasy about the project, Epic Shadow removed its branding from Pac-Avoid. After the game released, the Scamperghost team contacted Porter, who apologized and agreed he had been misled, and they came to the decision that King was to blame.

King stated it thoroughly searches other games before launching its own games to ensure the company does not infringe others' intellectual property. According to Porter, a King employee said King had many ideas for a game when it lost Scamperghost and decided to make "their own game, including their own original ideas." Porter strongly disagrees with this sentiment; King only instructed Epic Shadow to clone Scamperghost.

"I'm quite irked that King as the nerve to blatantly lie and shift the blame to me," he said. "Based on their response to the recent allegations, I now know that the company is both deceitful and hypocritical. I was contracted to make Pac-Avoid, a direct clone of Scamperghost, and I did just that."

King's CEO Riccardo Zacconi said in an open letter yesterday the company never should have published Pac-Avoid. King is trying to distance itself from the hypocrisy of being against cloned games despite commissioning a cloned game years ago. However, by trying to paint the situation as more complex than what we know, King is also ignoring what it did.

Source: GemFruit via Gamasutra

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Hmm, everyone pointing their finger the other way. Porter saying, "But... MONEY" and justifying it with being told that another company was somehow bad? That's just saying he's gullable and able to be bought for the right price (most people are able to be bought). How does that somehow justify his actions? He cloned a game and took money for it. Case closed. Yeah, King was the money behind the operation. But that just makes them both to blame, not just King. The notion that it has to be one person or group's fault is erroneous. Multiple parties can be to blame.

Boy, King sure is having an interesting "discovery" period due to their legal team. At this point I'm expecting them to shift the blame for kitten murders to some kitten elimination subcontractors they hired.

Lightknight:
Hmm, everyone pointing their finger the other way. Porter saying, "But... MONEY" and justifying it with being told that another company was somehow bad? That's just saying he's gullable and able to be bought for the right price (most people are able to be bought). How does that somehow justify his actions? He cloned a game and took money for it. Case closed. Yeah, King was the money behind the operation. But that just makes them both to blame, not just King. The notion that it has to be one person or group's fault is erroneous. Multiple parties can be to blame.

That depends exactly how much King lied about the situation though.

If king was able to convince epic shadow that they owned the rights to the game after their original deal had dropped out then I think it is entirely king's fault - The level of deceit is key here.

Both parties could be to blame if epic shadow knew full well King had no rights to the game they had commissioned to be copied.

I do find it hilarious that, in that open letter, King expected us to believe that after the deal fell through on scamperghost that they then decided to make their own game with original ideas but the studio they hired to make an original game somehow made a direct clone of scamperghost without King's knowledge... And that this game somehow got passed all of their "checks" for IP before they published it

"King stated it thoroughly searches other games before launching its own games to ensure the company does not infringe others' intellectual property"

Yes they search for popular games than create rip-offs that are just far away enough not to get sued. In this case they 'searched' the intellectual property of someone who had backed out of a bad deal with them and decided to steal it out of spite.

King is a very large, very wealthy company. The fact that they found a developer desperate enough to do their dirtywork, told him to clone a game they didn't have any right to and then continue to lie about it paints them as a company who is actively harmful to everything it touches. It also shows kind rides off the back of others for what little it does produce.

What a worthless singularity devoid of creative ideas and decency.

Whatislove:

Lightknight:
Hmm, everyone pointing their finger the other way. Porter saying, "But... MONEY" and justifying it with being told that another company was somehow bad? That's just saying he's gullable and able to be bought for the right price (most people are able to be bought). How does that somehow justify his actions? He cloned a game and took money for it. Case closed. Yeah, King was the money behind the operation. But that just makes them both to blame, not just King. The notion that it has to be one person or group's fault is erroneous. Multiple parties can be to blame.

That depends exactly how much King lied about the situation though.

If king was able to convince epic shadow that they owned the rights to the game after their original deal had dropped out then I think it is entirely king's fault - The level of deceit is key here.

Both parties could be to blame if epic shadow knew full well King had no rights to the game they had commissioned to be copied.

I do find it hilarious that, in that open letter, King expected us to believe that after the deal fell through on scamperghost that they then decided to make their own game with original ideas but the studio they hired to make an original game somehow made a direct clone of scamperghost without King's knowledge... And that this game somehow got passed all of their "checks" for IP before they published it

King may have thought they had the rights. Either way, we saw him say that he thought it was sneaky/dishonest as well. Then, bling bling, money helped him forget. This is a story as old as time. They said King convinced them that the other party was the bad guy, not that King had the rights to the IP. Had King told them that they had the rights to it so it was perfectly legitimate, then that's something that would have been mentioned. Not merely that the other people were the meanie pants bad guys. "They convinced us that they owned the rights" is a smoking gun and there's no way they wouldn't have waved that around if they had it around to do so.

No, King gave them money and demonized the other company without giving them legal justification for their actions.

These guys are terrible businessmen. In an industry where your name and reputation mean so much they managed to make everybody hate them in less than a week. I hope that King goes bankrupt soon.

All hail the King! The new Zynga!

Just... go away. Please.

They should probably take a hard look at Zynga and what happened to them.

so, king came to them and directly asked them to clone another game as he suggests, but now that they lied about that he knows they are "shady"? look dude king are a bunch of dicks but you took the money, you made the game. I have no real sympathy for these guys, when a company comes to you and asks you to do something blatantly immoral no matter their justification when you accept the job and the money it basically puts you in the same position, good idea trying to bandwagon onto the king hate. maybe you'll get some headlines and build your brand a little, become more recognizable in the mobile space, but ultimately you are painting your company as negatively as king because king hires companies to clone games and that's bad, but your company is willing to make cloned games, and in a way that's worse.

Porter's story sounds like the a case of the rats eating one of their own to me.
Or is the team of Scamperghost going to crawl out and confirm his story?

Weaver:
They should probably take a hard look at Zynga and what happened to them.

Entering into a IPO gambit and fail miserably?
Doesn't seem terribly applicable here.

Unless you meant Zynga's shitheel business practices and legal bullying.
That part, sadly, worked out great for them until they went after a far bigger legal fish than they could hope to swallow (EA).

wow ...

I just hope this leads to them getting their asses handed to them in court :3

it's what parasites like them deserve after all

Lightknight:
King may have thought they had the rights. Either way, we saw him say that he thought it was sneaky/dishonest as well. Then, bling bling, money helped him forget. This is a story as old as time. They said King convinced them that the other party was the bad guy, not that King had the rights to the IP. Had King told them that they had the rights to it so it was perfectly legitimate, then that's something that would have been mentioned. Not merely that the other people were the meanie pants bad guys. "They convinced us that they owned the rights" is a smoking gun and there's no way they wouldn't have waved that around if they had it around to do so.

No, King gave them money and demonized the other company without giving them legal justification for their actions.

It's easy to judge, but when you have to pay rent or feed a family, it is not easy to turn down a shady offer. Most game devs struggle. It is a hard business after all.
It is wrong what they did, but it is too easy to say "Those idiots just did it for the money."

Lightknight:

Whatislove:

Lightknight:
Hmm, everyone pointing their finger the other way. Porter saying, "But... MONEY" and justifying it with being told that another company was somehow bad? That's just saying he's gullable and able to be bought for the right price (most people are able to be bought). How does that somehow justify his actions? He cloned a game and took money for it. Case closed. Yeah, King was the money behind the operation. But that just makes them both to blame, not just King. The notion that it has to be one person or group's fault is erroneous. Multiple parties can be to blame.

That depends exactly how much King lied about the situation though.

If king was able to convince epic shadow that they owned the rights to the game after their original deal had dropped out then I think it is entirely king's fault - The level of deceit is key here.

Both parties could be to blame if epic shadow knew full well King had no rights to the game they had commissioned to be copied.

I do find it hilarious that, in that open letter, King expected us to believe that after the deal fell through on scamperghost that they then decided to make their own game with original ideas but the studio they hired to make an original game somehow made a direct clone of scamperghost without King's knowledge... And that this game somehow got passed all of their "checks" for IP before they published it

King may have thought they had the rights. Either way, we saw him say that he thought it was sneaky/dishonest as well. Then, bling bling, money helped him forget. This is a story as old as time. They said King convinced them that the other party was the bad guy, not that King had the rights to the IP. Had King told them that they had the rights to it so it was perfectly legitimate, then that's something that would have been mentioned. Not merely that the other people were the meanie pants bad guys. "They convinced us that they owned the rights" is a smoking gun and there's no way they wouldn't have waved that around if they had it around to do so.

No, King gave them money and demonized the other company without giving them legal justification for their actions.

I guess you're right and I guess it's very similar to a hitman/assassin type situation;
If a husband puts out a hit on wife then both the husband and the hitman are guilty in the eyes of the law (and often the husband will get a greater punishment).

fractal_butterfly:
It's easy to judge, but when you have to pay rent or feed a family, it is not easy to turn down a shady offer. Most game devs struggle. It is a hard business after all.
It is wrong what they did, but it is too easy to say "Those idiots just did it for the money."

I'm not judging them for doing this for money. I'm judging them for not taking responsibility for their actions. People doing distasteful/undesireable things for money is as human as it gets. However, saying "But... money" isn't an excuse for one's actions. It's just the motivation behind it. You don't get to do shady things and then get caught doing them and maintain a good name because "reasons".

Whatislove:
I guess you're right and I guess it's very similar to a hitman/assassin type situation;
If a husband puts out a hit on wife then both the husband and the hitman are guilty in the eyes of the law (and often the husband will get a greater punishment).

Exactly. The assassin is the tool the husband used to kill his wife in the eyes of the law. The assassin is still responsible, but no moreso than the husband usually.

 

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