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Super Crate Box developers say efforts to protest clone 'weren't in vain'

"it's our industry; it can be what we want it to be" Rami Ismail, Vlambeer

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The developers at Vlambeer, the indie studio behind Super Crate Box, don't regret calling out an iOS clone of their 2010 Flash game Radical Fishing — they believe their protest efforts effected real change in the gaming industry, according to an interview with Eurogamer.

Vlambeer became the subject of a well-publicized debate on cloning versus iterating in game development last year, when it caught wind of a clone of its first title, Radical Fishing, in development at a company called Gamenauts. At the time, Vlambeer was about to ramp up production on Ridiculous Fishing, an iPhone remake of the studio's own game. Radical Fishing and Gamenauts' version of it, Ninja Fishing, were nearly identical, and Gamenauts refused Vlambeer's request to delay the launch of Ninja Fishing until Ridiculous Fishing was also ready for release.

Once the clone launched, and Vlambeer spoke out against it, media requests came pouring in. Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail told Eurogamer, "All my time went into doing interviews, doing talks and generally managing the situation." Although it was time spent away from developing games, Ismail believes it wasn't spent futilely.

"If you look at the industry now and how they deal with clones, it is different," he said. He pointed out the people who don't believe cloning is reprehensible, who say it's just part of the gaming industry. "That's just not true. Iteration is part of the industry, and it's our industry; it can be what we want it to be."

Vlambeer will soon release a 2D flight simulator called Luftrausers.

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