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Friday, January 14, 2011

Capcom Responds, Makes It Worse

The real 'Splosion Man. Accept no substitutes.
Now Capcom has responded to the controversy over its blatant copying of Twisted Pixel's 'Splosion Man game, and they've handled it with as much grace and class as they did the Smurfberries incident. Which is to say, none. Here's Capcom's full statement on the matter:

 "While Twisted Pixel did have discussions with our console game team about publishing 'Splosion Man' on game consoles, Capcom Mobile is a different division of Capcom with separate offices and as such, had no prior knowledge of any meetings between the console game team and Twisted Pixel. 'MaXplosion' was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."

Note how Capcom adroitly avoids any mention of whether or not their game resembles Twisted Pixel's game. Which is the elephant in the room, is it not? And whether or not Capcom Mobile had any knowledge of meetings, it's pretty clear by looking at the games that somebody at Capcom Mobile had certainly seen 'Splosion Man. And liked it enough to copy it. Capcom didn't even bother to trot out the word "coincidence;" good thing, too, or else the laughter would have been overwhelming.

"We are saddened by this situation"? Really? Yes, they are sad they got caught. If they were really sad, they'd be firing the person or persons responsible at Capcom Mobile who apparently thought it was reasonable and ethical to copy someone else's game. OK, if you must, use the game mechanic; those aren't copyrightable. But at least have the grace to use a different artwork style, or spend an hour coming up with a different back story. Rebuilding trust in the gaming community will take a long time if you're not even willing to own up to your mistakes, much less correct them. I guess work is easier if you don't have to spend time thinking up new ideas for a game, just redo someone else's without paying them for the idea.

And they still have just blithely ignored the ethical issues of The Smurf's Village, where Capcom is making a mint selling smurfberries to children too young to know what a credit card is.

I hope there's some backlash among fans; apparently the only way Capcom may address these issues is if someone, somewhere at Capcom thinks it might be costing them money.

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