Deadpool: Aquarium Life is closing, death by lawsuit?

By Joel Brodie |

Aquarium Life, a fish simulation game by WonderHill is officially closing its fish shop at the end of the month, according to the game’s web page.

No reason is giving for closing the game but here at Gamezebo, we can speculate. The game has definitely taken a hit in the past month, going from 900,000 to 540,000 monthly average users (MAU) between May and June of this year according to Appdata. This could be due to changes in Facebook notifications (less viral word of mouth) and the fact that a there are about a zillion fish and pet simulation games to play on Facebook right now.

Another reason could be the Crowdstar lawsuit alleging that Wonderhill copied Happy Aquarium filed back in April 2010. Happy Aquarium, of course, is derivative of scores of other fish aquarium games (remember the download game, Fish Tycoon?) so I always find it funny when a game company that copied someone else sues another game company for copying them. The lawsuit, however, was very specific, alledging that WonderHill copied a “distinctive mating dance to backdrop of hearts and romantic music.”

The lesson being, if you are going to create a casual game that is influenced by another game that involves mating and fish…come up with your own mating technique.

Not many Facebook games will “die by lawsuit,” but we do predict a lot of new Facebook games will be added to the Deadpool this year. There is tons of money to be made on Facebook games, but unless you have millions to burn on marketing (e.g., Zynga), it’s not the path to riches, especially if you are releasing a Facebook game that involves breeding fish, pets, or parakeets.

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