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Author Topic: How to Rip Off Every Game Ever Made  (Read 3964 times)
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ScubaV
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« on: June 12, 2008, 11:17:11 PM »

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=1903

An amazing story from my new #1 site for PC gaming related news and commentary.
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 12:07:50 AM »

Yep, I saw this over on Gamers With Jobs...I hope Bethesda puts an injunction on this game and prevents it from coming out.  Plagiarism is pathetic.

UPDATE:  It's been pulled off the market...
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 12:19:48 AM by Blackadar » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 12:39:56 AM »

that part with the ship and the wizard really reminds me of the opening for Kings Quest V.
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 04:54:09 AM »

I'd say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but...

 icon_eek

That's so funny in so many wrong ways.

EDIT: Reading through the NeoGAF forums are an absolute blast.

And from the Publisher themselves:

Quote
The official statement regarding recent inquiries about similarities between Limbo and other titles

Tri Synergy, Inc. would like to publish an official comment regarding recent comparisons of level design and artwork between Majestic Studios’ Limbo of the Lost and Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion/Eidos Interactive’s Thief: Deadly Shadows.

Tri Synergy is just as shocked as everyone else is by the recent screenshot comparisons. At no point during our dealings with Majestic Studios up until the point that the comparison was first publicly made by a third party did we have any knowledge of these similarities. Additionally, Tri Synergy will discontinue distribution of Limbo of the Lost in both retail and online outlets.

We have contacted the developer, Majestic, and are anxiously awaiting their response. As soon as we know more on this matter we will issue another statement.

ROFL

This...is just amazing. And it's not like Tri Synergy came out of nowhere - I've heard of Democracy as well as UFO: Extraterrestrials before.

EDIT 2:

I've 'found' this game on the 'net. I'm tempted to try it out just to see if it really is the same game that everybody is talking about. biggrin
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 05:18:52 AM by Destructor » Logged

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Moliere
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 05:33:34 AM »

Sounds like its a good time to find this game. Its about to be a true Collectors Item and not the typical overpriced Collectors Edition that is limited to the number they're able to sell because it includes a cloth map, a making of the game DVD and a fake coin.
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 05:39:03 AM »

How the... who... guh, argh!  My head actually hurts from the sheer stupidity of the people behind that game.  Forget the sneaky underhandedness of this, but did no one from that company stop and state the obvious that they'd get caught?  They stole from a very popular game, from a game with similar genre.  It just boggles the mind.
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 05:43:03 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 13, 2008, 04:54:09 AM

I've 'found' this game on the 'net. I'm tempted to try it out just to see if it really is the same game that everybody is talking about. biggrin

it's not being seeded by enough people for a quick download.  I believe the estimate was '3 weeks'.
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 06:04:13 AM »

Yeah, it's a pretty insane story.  On top of all this, it appears the developer engaged in deceptive viral marketing to promote the game late last year among the adventure gaming community.  In at least two cases it looks like they created alts to talk about how great the game was, only to be caught.  In one case they tried to claim the alt was a tester and in the other they claimed that it was the daughter of one of the developers.  Links to this part of the story are in the QT3 thread on this mess.

If Bethesda (and the others involved) want to, they can probably take down the publisher in all of this. 


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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008, 01:02:51 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 13, 2008, 05:43:03 AM

Quote from: Destructor on June 13, 2008, 04:54:09 AM

I've 'found' this game on the 'net. I'm tempted to try it out just to see if it really is the same game that everybody is talking about. biggrin
it's not being seeded by enough people for a quick download.  I believe the estimate was '3 weeks'.

Newsgroups, my friend, newsgroups. biggrin

And on that note - since the game obviously violates federal copyright law, does that make it legal to acquire yourself?  icon_wink
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008, 02:04:08 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 13, 2008, 01:02:51 PM

And on that note - since the game obviously violates federal copyright law, does that make it legal to acquire yourself?  icon_wink

Probably not, but even then, given the questionable ethics of the makers of the game, I would strongly hesitate to install anything they created onto my PC... Ripping other games' assets off isn't the best mark of skill from a game developer, so who knows what their software will do...
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2008, 02:51:52 PM »

Quote from: Skylark on June 13, 2008, 02:04:08 PM

Quote from: Destructor on June 13, 2008, 01:02:51 PM

And on that note - since the game obviously violates federal copyright law, does that make it legal to acquire yourself?  icon_wink

Probably not, but even then, given the questionable ethics of the makers of the game, I would strongly hesitate to install anything they created onto my PC... Ripping other games' assets off isn't the best mark of skill from a game developer, so who knows what their software will do...

good point.  you might go to uninstall it and find out they ripped off the old uninstaller from the most recent Pool of Radiance game.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2008, 03:01:49 PM »

LOL CeeKay, that comment is priceless... especially since I owned that game...

Well, if my students did this, I would give them an F. I hope you all went to the Kent Examiner to get a look at the "Developers." Hilarious... three old brits with pints in their hand (which, I assume, is an integral part of being an old brit).

What is funny is that the main character seems to be one of the only things original about the game. They took 2D screens of other games and had him "walk" around those backdrops. It is sort of like the PC gaming equivalent of the John Ritter classic (HA) "Stay Tuned" (the one he got sucked into the Hell cable TV channel). I very much doubt that much of any of the game's assets are original. Watching that preview, there was a part where the main character knocks on the screen and asks if "anyone is out there." Wasn't that an insanity effect from the Gamecube game Eternal Darkness?

So awful it is funny...

Bael
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 08:00:22 PM »

WOW.

I am in awe of these guys. That's hilarious!  icon_lol
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2008, 08:01:15 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on June 13, 2008, 03:01:49 PM

Watching that preview, there was a part where the main character knocks on the screen and asks if "anyone is out there." Wasn't that an insanity effect from the Gamecube game Eternal Darkness?

I think you're right. And did you notice that in most scenes, the compass at the bottom-right of the screen is spinning out of control? Now that's a useful game mechanic...

Seriously, it's all so amateurish it's just plain bad. I have nothing against indie games, but indie != amateur, and this is just amateur.
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 03:16:43 AM »

Wow, after reading the 11 pages over at the other forum, I am half-convinced this is a huge viral gag. If there weren't Amazon.com pages and an official retraction on the Trisynergy website. This is crazy-go-nuts.

They stole borders from WoW. Object art from Diablo 2. Music from Hexen. Whole levels from Oblivion. Voice from Rune. The hand from Black & White 2. Mechanics and possibly voice from Eternal Darkness. (I know that your character can shoot out the screen). Assets from Unreal Tournament 3. LotR:BFME 2 borders.

Anyone know if that three headed dog thing in the trailer looks familiar? I was thinking Realms of the Haunting. It also has a very Star Control 3 look. Can't quite put my finger on it.

EDIT: This is what I mean.



Bael
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 03:21:14 AM by baelthazar » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 05:34:10 AM »

I made sure that I ordered a copy the moment I heard about it.  This game is going to be legendary, especially now that its been recalled.
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 07:46:38 AM »

I think we all learned a valuable lesson from this - If you're going to plagiarize something, pick something that hasn't sold millions of copies.  It reminds me of the first episode of the TV show JAG, where they inserted a sequence from the movie Clear And Present Danger, which was a big hit at the time.  Did they really expect people not to notice?
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 02:37:41 PM »

Quote from: dangerballs on June 14, 2008, 05:34:10 AM

I made sure that I ordered a copy the moment I heard about it.  This game is going to be legendary, especially now that its been recalled.

did it ship before it was recalled?
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2008, 02:39:29 PM »

This is a fascinating story.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2008, 09:25:33 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 14, 2008, 02:37:41 PM

Quote from: dangerballs on June 14, 2008, 05:34:10 AM

I made sure that I ordered a copy the moment I heard about it.  This game is going to be legendary, especially now that its been recalled.

did it ship before it was recalled?

In England, yes. Maybe elsewhere in Europe.

I'm still not convince we aren't all being punked...  eek

Bael
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2008, 10:44:40 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on June 14, 2008, 09:25:33 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 14, 2008, 02:37:41 PM

Quote from: dangerballs on June 14, 2008, 05:34:10 AM

I made sure that I ordered a copy the moment I heard about it.  This game is going to be legendary, especially now that its been recalled.

did it ship before it was recalled?

In England, yes. Maybe elsewhere in Europe.

I'm still not convince we aren't all being punked...  eek

Bael

Enough people on NeoGAF claim to have received ship notices that we'll know soon enough...
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2008, 12:32:27 AM »

So, I've, uh, talked to a friend that has this game and I've borrowed it for the time being just to see if this game is really true.

If I never post here again, that means that my head has exploded upon finding out that it is. And I'll be blaming all of you. Tongue
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2008, 02:55:15 AM »

So we can confirm an actual sighting then!?! Whoo hoo! Be sure to take screenshots!

Bael
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2008, 03:54:41 AM »

And they just sold more copies of this shitty game than they ever would have before. 
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2008, 06:00:12 AM »

However, the company behind it will get sued by someone, eating up any profit they make from the legal fees.  Not to mention those three will never work in the industry again.

The game industry is a small community, everyone knows each other.
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2008, 06:34:07 AM »

So, after playing this game, I've come to the following conclusions:

1) The default, and non-adjustable volume is at least 150% louder than just about every game on the market.
2) The game runs at 640x480. Or 800x600. Not sure. But there's no way to change it.
3) No way to skip the horrid Poser-rendered chatty face-talk scenes (that display in a tiny window).
4) The game is extremely loud.
5) Voice acting isn't too bad, for an 'indie-developed' game like this.
6) All you do is run through a bunch of not really connected mostly-static screens as you try to figure out what the hell to do. Could all the rooms I've traveled so far been ripped from the same game? Quite possibly. I couldn't place it though.
7) TURN DOWN THE VOLUME!

After playing for about 10 minutes, I couldn't take any more of the crazy face-talk scenes, and music that just wouldn't shut the hell up, and quit the game in disgust. Maybe I'll fire it up again, just so I can get to the Oblivion borrowed section.  icon_lol

Oh, and baelthazar - trust me, my copy isn't exactly what you'd call a 'real in the wild sighting', if you get what I mean.  ninja2
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2008, 07:17:41 AM »

Ha! You pirated a game that pirates other games. It's like the Mobius strip of software piracy!

Does that make you a super pirate? Or a pirate ninja? Or a zombie-robot-pirate-ninja?

I love the comments - I guess the game is pretty loud then?  icon_razz From what I saw on YouTube, the early levels aren't too ripped off of any game. I would say they look a bit like Vampire: Bloodlines (which is in the game) or maybe Arx Fatalis.

Bael

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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2008, 07:23:41 AM »

I very nearly placed an order for this purely as a speculator, thinking it may be a collector's item someday.
Then it occurred to me that every game I've ever speculated on now sells for something like 2 cents.
The only really valuable games I own are games I bought to play, and loved enough that I'd never part with them anyway.
So...No sale here.
Curious as hell about all this though.
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008, 07:09:31 PM »

This is really quite amazing. When I first heard about it, I thought, "Well, that's just placeholder art", right? It just astounded me that they actually managed to publish a game that just so blatantly copies. If you follow the Neogaf forum link, you can see they even copied things back as far as their Amiga version.

All this however feels like a con. The men must of knew what they were doing. They just didn't expect any Adventure Game players to recognize games that they wouldn't have played. Though they also didn't expect that some players don't just play adventure games, but play different genres. So, they publish their game and they then happen to be "on vacation". They must be laughing all the way to the bank.  They not only fool the publisher, but the players as well. I'm sure this will make publishers extra cautious when publishing something.
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2008, 01:00:38 AM »

Laughing all the way to the bank?  Are you serious?  Unless they got mega $$ up front these guys will never make a single penny from this.  Even if they did the cost of litigation will wipe any of it out.  I'd even take a wild guess that this game will bankrupt them after all the suits get done with them.  Sure they sold a few copies from the accident drive by effect but the publisher has already pulled the game and I doubt very seriously they will pay any royalties on what meager amount did sell.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2008, 06:11:40 AM »

I would do something trite and link the Dramatic Look Gopher as the Bethesda legal team, but I am too lazy.

Yeah, the publisher pulled the plug on the North American distribution, but they did get some European money. The legal issues here are enormous and I think that the respective parties (like, all of gaming) will fight back to make a point about IP and stealing. Heck, the trailer even used a clip from Pirates of the Caribbean (with a black bar on the bottom) and Disney is NOT known for being kind with its IP. Not to mention textures and borders were stolen from EA and Blizzard, both companies that have the resources needed to do this.

Of course a legal battle is going to be bleeding a stone, at this point. Those guys probably hit the road, spent what little money they made on the first run (if any) and are bankrupt, too bankrupt to get anything from them. Jail time, probably not worth it in legal fees.

The money from buying these games now will go to repay the retailers that have it on their shelves and worry about moving it. Also, the publisher shouldn't be punished for the developer's sins (well, they SHOULD have checked their developers' work, but this is not a perfect world). The publisher may get some money back from sales, but those developers are long gone. To me, this was a con to get a publisher to front some money, they could write up an "art asset" and "effects" budget but pocket that by literally pulling art from other sources. In essence, these developers got the publishers to pay for things they didn't produce. At this point, those three guys are in some non-extradition country sucking back gin and tonics. Heck, wasn't one of them a British poker champ?

Bael
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2008, 06:46:16 AM »

Exactly my point. I heard about the Poker champ thing too, and they must be used to bluffing by now. Also if you look at the picture circulating, they look like very shady people. Particularly the guy on the right. The North American publisher pulled the plug, but there's still the European publisher, which I don't think we've heard from, so it's still making money from some sites in the UK, I think.

Would it be too far fetched to think that they wanted a publisher to front money in order to pay for any gambling debts they may have had? The fact that they just took screens makes me think they didn't really work all that long on it as we're lead to believe. Sure, making a game takes a long time, but I'm just wondering if the publisher started asking questions as to when they would have it, and maybe there was a rush to keep the publisher happy. Slap something together really quickly, make it look legitimate, and by the time it ships, they're out of the country. Coincidence? I think not.
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« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2008, 09:07:08 PM »

FN nuts.  they ripped off movies as well. 

that these guys actually coded a game engine to showcase other game assets is a bit of a surprise too.

how many games have they ripped off now?
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« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2008, 09:48:24 PM »

I don't believe they did code the game engine, I think they used an third-party engine.

Gambling debts... that's a brilliant idea! I hadn't thought of that for a motive, but it certainly fits. I mean lawsuits from legal companies are always better than concrete galoshes or broken legs!

Bael
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« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2008, 12:38:15 AM »

Photos of the game box on the NeoGAF thread... this baby looks real.   icon_smile
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« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2008, 05:51:05 PM »

Yep, they used the Wintermute engine.

Quote from: baelthazar on June 16, 2008, 09:48:24 PM

I don't believe they did code the game engine, I think they used an third-party engine.

Gambling debts... that's a brilliant idea! I hadn't thought of that for a motive, but it certainly fits. I mean lawsuits from legal companies are always better than concrete galoshes or broken legs!

Bael

Or, the other thing I've been thinking about related to the Poker winnings, is if this game is self-funded as I've heard, that they used their poker winnings to fund the game. Then the publisher wouldn't have known what they'd done until receiving the game and getting complaints of thievery. But that idea isn't as fun  icon_lol

Either way, Poker's gotta be involved somehow.
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« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2008, 03:07:06 AM »

I got my copy of the game today.  icon_biggrin

Pictures of the package and discs:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/meatandthunder/sets/72157605689370970/

I love the review quote on the box that says: "Limbo is a dark, foreboding place yet there are areas of strong illumination"

It comes with a bonus DVD that has a "game development" video which is just a series of concept art of which there is only one conceptual drawing of an environment; the rest of the pictures are all of the character models.  I haven't had a chance to watch the rest of the movie.
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« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2008, 04:20:47 AM »

Be sure to come back with some screenshots of actual ingame play! I hope you are a gaming fan, cause you need a WIDE amount of gaming experience to catch all the stolen stuff!

Bael
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« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2008, 04:28:38 PM »

I think I'd virus/spyware scan that DVD before installing. slywink
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« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2008, 05:06:51 AM »

The devs came back from their vacation, so here's an update:

Quote
"In response to the shocking notification that some alleged unauthorized copyrighted materials submitted by sources external to the development team have been found within the PC game Limbo of the Lost, we (the development team) have given our consent and full cooperation to both publishers who are recalling all units from all territories immediately.

Please be assured that we do not condone in anyway the use of unauthorized copyrighted materials and if we had been made aware earlier, we would of course have ceased development of the product and rectified the issue prior to the publication process.

To the best of our knowledge no one at Majestic, [European publisher] G2Games or [North American publisher Tri Synergy, Inc.] knew about this infringement and knowingly played any part in it.

We can only apologise to all regarding this issue, as a team we are shocked and mortified regarding these events and we continue to work with said publishers in order to rectify the issue.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6192856.html

Ok, so they're pleading innocence now. That takes some balls when they know they've done it.
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