With the rampant plagiarism that goes on in game development, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox, has just confirmed on his blog that his company has filed a copyright infringement suit against 6Waves LOLAPPS in regards to the latter’s release of Yeti Town, a game that clearly borrowed everything that was original about Spry Fox’s Triple Town, slapped on a fresh coat of paint, and made it to the App Store first.
This announcement comes hot on the heels of a news weeks that was filled plagiarism stories – not the least of which was 6Waves LOLAPPS defending Yeti Town in the face of its detractors. As it turns out, that was the last straw for Spry Fox.
Edery explains why he and the rest of the team felt this move was needed;
“Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself, or you’re just begging to be taken advantage of. We (Spry Fox) have filed a copyright infringement suit in federal court against 6Waves LOLAPPS in response to their release of Yeti Town, their blatant copy of Triple Town. 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. And in general, we believe that only in the most extreme circumstances should a video game developer resort to legal action in order to defend their creative works — the last thing our industry needs is frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, it is our opinion that 6waves has behaved in a reprehensible and illegal manner, and we can not, in good conscience, ignore it.”
Edery has also brought a few new fact to light: Yeti Town was developed while Spry Fox were in talks with 6Waves LOLAPPS about publishing the game through their company;
“We gave 6waves private access to Triple Town when it was still in closed beta,monthsbefore the public was exposed to the game. We believed those negotiations were ongoing, and we continued to give private information to 6waves, until 6waves’ Executive Director of Business Development sent us a message via Facebookon the day Yeti Town was publishedin which he suddenly broke off negotiations and apologized for the nasty situation.“
If true (and we have no reason to doubt that it is), this is despicable, heinous behavior on the part of 6Waves. And while we can’t say if the specifics match up, it doesn’t sound that different from the current Tiny Tower/Zynga situation. Zygna had tried to buy developer NimbleBit, failed, and in turn created a clone that’s just as infuriating as Yeti Town.
Seriously – how hard is it to come up with a good idea on your own?
Those of you who enjoy lengthy legal documents can view the full legal complaint here.