Independent iPhone developer Jason Wright has decided to bow to legal pressure and remove his game, Rockfall, from the App Store. He informs STP that First Star Software, makers of Boulder Dash, found Rockfall to be too similar for comfort, and have demanded that he take his game down.
Wright admits that Rockfall is inspired by Boulder Dash, but points out that there are many games which are even closer. This situation is similar to that faced by developer Noah Witherspoon, who was also forced to remove his game Tris from the App Store.
While we’ve never been great fans of purely derivative games at Games Keys, we do question the legal tactics involved, and the impact on innovation and entrepreneurship they might have. Where do you draw the lines between inspiration, emulation, and downright copying? A larger developer might fight this battle, but the independent developers that have flocked to the iPhone don’t have the resources for lengthy legal battles.