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Johann Sebastian Joust Is Latest iOS Cloning Victim

Studio behind awfully similar game for iOS claims an agreement was in place.

Cloning is not a new issue for Apple’s iOS marketplace, but the hell hath no fury like a beloved indie scorned. The latest victim is Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust, a game we featured in last year’s Big Live Live Show Live!

Gamasutra noticed developer Ustwo had just released Papa Quash for the iPhone, which looks an awful lot like Die Gute Fabrik’s own creation. The video tells the story better than words.

In Johann Sebastian Joust, players walk around with Move controllers and attempt to knock around the other Move controllers, as music plays in the background. The music determines how fast or slow players can move. The faster the music, the faster you can move. Move too fast or get knocked by another player--boom, you’re out.

In Papa Quash, it’s the same idea, except swap Move for iPhone.

Johann Sebastian Joust has been in perpetual development, despite endless positive press, for a while now, and it’s still unclear if it will see a proper release on PlayStation 3 or otherwise.

Thing is, Ustwo even admits Papa Quash took direct inspiration from Johann Sebastian Joust. The studio told Gamasutra that ex-Big Brother UK contestant Sam Pepper contracted Papa Quash from Ustwo, and Ustwo was reportely told Die Fubrik Gathe had been contacted and signed off.

"We're not into cloning,” said Ustwo's marketing director Steve Bittan to the site. “We genuinely care about what we do and out reputation in the indie community."

Die Gute Fabrik claims that never happened.

"We've been getting a lot of inquiries lately. We're working on an official response - hopefully by tonight,” said the company this morning Twitter. "Just to be clear, we have never and would never approve, give permission, or encourage anyone to clone of any of our games."

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

Cloning is not a new issue for Apple’s iOS marketplace, but the hell hath no fury like a beloved indie scorned. The latest victim is Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust, a game we featured in last year’s Big Live Live Show Live!

Gamasutra noticed developer Ustwo had just released Papa Quash for the iPhone, which looks an awful lot like Die Gute Fabrik’s own creation. The video tells the story better than words.

In Johann Sebastian Joust, players walk around with Move controllers and attempt to knock around the other Move controllers, as music plays in the background. The music determines how fast or slow players can move. The faster the music, the faster you can move. Move too fast or get knocked by another player--boom, you’re out.

In Papa Quash, it’s the same idea, except swap Move for iPhone.

Johann Sebastian Joust has been in perpetual development, despite endless positive press, for a while now, and it’s still unclear if it will see a proper release on PlayStation 3 or otherwise.

Thing is, Ustwo even admits Papa Quash took direct inspiration from Johann Sebastian Joust. The studio told Gamasutra that ex-Big Brother UK contestant Sam Pepper contracted Papa Quash from Ustwo, and Ustwo was reportely told Die Fubrik Gathe had been contacted and signed off.

"We're not into cloning,” said Ustwo's marketing director Steve Bittan to the site. “We genuinely care about what we do and out reputation in the indie community."

Die Gute Fabrik claims that never happened.

"We've been getting a lot of inquiries lately. We're working on an official response - hopefully by tonight,” said the company this morning Twitter. "Just to be clear, we have never and would never approve, give permission, or encourage anyone to clone of any of our games."

Edited by JBG4

Nice, this seems to happen way too frequently, with more blatant rip-offs being taken down relatively quickly.

Posted by dragonzord

ios gaming future in a nutshell

Edited by Robot_Moses

Well, if the Joust dev did really sign off I guess there's no issue. If not I doubt that they're going to lose sales or anything, it's not like Quash is another PSN game. Bit of a dick move, though.

Posted by Sin4profit

Girl in that Joust photo weirds me out. The fuck is she suppose to be doing?

Posted by Little_Socrates

All that comes to mind is that awful Courtney Love/Guitar Hero 5 squabble over the use of Kurt's likeness that was totally signed off as cool. I hope that's actually not what's happening and that the Papa Quash folks are just cloning jerks, though, as Joust looks awesome.

If that is what happened, though, I'm totally buying Quash, as I just want to play Joust already and I'd rather play a totally justified release on iPhone than the eternally-in-development version for Move, especially when I consider that I do have an iPhone and I don't have Move.

We'll see who the jerks are in this situation, I'm still buying Joust either way, and if the Quash guys are not the jerks then I'm playing their game too.

Edited by ashbash

I can't believe they lied about getting permission from Die Gute Fabrik. Makes me even more angry. I'm amazed Apple still allows so many clones to be published.

Posted by Winternet

Get to the bottom of this outrageous set of events, Tricky!

Posted by Slaegar

Johann Sebastian Gameloft

Posted by Anjon
@ashbash: So far, there's no evidence that anyone lied about anything. Chances are it's just a mutual misunderstanding, as these things tend to be. 
 
On a slightly unrelated note, I would probably be more upset if not for the fact that the game that's supposed to be copied has shown no signs of ever actually coming out, which makes me want to support Papa Quash if it can actually get the supposedly amazing experience of Johann Sebastian Joust into the real hands of real consumers before the Mayans detonate the Large Hadron Collider this December.
Posted by chilibean_3

This really sucks for the Johann Sebastion Joust dudes BUT I was likely never going to get a chance to play that game even though I really wanted to. I know a lot of people with iPhones and don't know anyone with Move controllers. So for selfish reasons I'm happy about it if it is a capable clone. That makes me feel a little gross about it though.

Also, that commercial was the first thing to make me dislike dubstep.

Posted by KevSlider

Thank God for Klepeck news. I see twitter posts with #Joustice and no explanation. Yeah this is messed up.

Posted by Mumrik

I have no idea why JSJ isn't out yet on every platform that has an accelerometer. What are they developing? They've been swimming in a weird amount of press for a long time.

Posted by mnzy

This game will destroy so many smartphones. 
 
Stealing game ideas is as old as games are, though. 

Posted by Toxeia

@Sin4profit: No idea, but I'm interested in what she'd like to do when all those people aren't around.

The weird thing is that the twitter and facebook accounts were for the most part totally dormant save for an announcement in February, and a few "Coming soon..." posts. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those things that is free to get some buzz, and then it's on the app store for $5.99 or something once it's gotten enough attention. Whole thing's gross, and the video for the game is way too dub-step heavy.

Posted by MrMazz

Well fuck those cloning bastards

Posted by CrimsonNoir

Not sure I'd feel comfortable having people try to slap my expensive smart phone out of my hands, but that's just me.

Posted by Nidzumi

Wow, I know a few people that work for the devs and they're not the kind of people that would rip something off this blatantly. I imagine they just took the client at their word.

Posted by Bad_Haggis

Protip #1: Release your game in a timely manner.

Protip #2: Don't take a contractor's word that a project has a green light. Get it in writing.

Posted by Jdaman

When did using the same game mechanic become such a big deal? How is this different from games modern military shooter that uses regenerating health, perks and down the sight aiming that many games are based on?

Also, how much can you get blamed for using a mechanic in a game that has been in developement forever and never released?

Posted by RoyCampbell
@Winternet said:

Get to the bottom of this outrageous set of events, Tricky!

IT'S VERY COMPLICATED
Posted by onan

@Robot_Moses said:

Well, if the Joust dev did really sign off I guess there's no issue. If not I doubt that they're going to lose sales or anything, it's not like Quash is another PSN game. Bit of a dick move, though.

Oh, they absolutely will lose almost all of their sales to this. It doesn't matter if you're an originator if you never make it to market. I would have bought Joust in a heartbeat if it had ever been offered to me. In a kickstarter or whatever, just something, same way I never bothered with any clones of Minecraft, because I got on board with the beta way back when.

The Joust folks have no one to blame but themselves if they didn't see something like this coming a mile away. There's no honor in the indie space.

I think it's messed up and even I am probably going to get this Papa Quash instead of Joust, especially since it's free and Joust would have probably cost somewhere around $10-15.

Posted by nyv

It was stupid to develop the game for Move in the first place. Like you are going to say to your friends: "HEY, bring your Move controllers so we can play this game." But I guess they needed the funding from Sony.

Lying about the copying was stupid. He should have just been an ass and say so. Copying of game designs is normal, as many stated.. you know, stuff like Angry Birds build a million bucks business on copying.

Posted by ghoti221

Has anybody managed to get a comment from Sam Pepper, since he's the person who a) supposedly got the permission from Die Fubrik Gathe and b) contracted the developer (which I would assume would involve some sort of payment) to develop the clone?

JGH

Posted by Steve_C

I'm not surprised. Die Gute Fabrik showed a cool idea, but have completely failed to make a product out of it. I can't find too much fault with the devs here. The've taken the essential concept, but it's not some full clone like Zynga's Dream Heights was. There's no released product to even clone.

Posted by geekbot

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem like a really bad idea to be playing this kind of game with an $800 phone?

Posted by UncleBenny

Joust may have came out first and looks cuter, but unless they somehow patented their style of play then they really don't really have a leg to stand on. The same people that would care about honor in game design aren't the same people that would buy this game on the iphone.

Posted by Dogma

I checked the up on the game on the app store and it seems to be free. There is no paid version. Yeah, it still kinda sucks that the one with the idea didn't got credited and got out before this BUT they are not making money on this so there are no lost sales. It really never were since Joust was at PS3 game. The only way they could have lost sales would be that people would already have gotten the experience in other places.

Posted by Video_Game_King

So it's like Johann Sebastian Joust, but with douchebags instead of hipsters?

Posted by lightsoda

@Jdaman said:

When did using the same game mechanic become such a big deal? How is this different from games modern military shooter that uses regenerating health, perks and down the sight aiming that many games are based on?

Also, how much can you get blamed for using a mechanic in a game that has been in developement forever and never released?

This. Moving on.

Posted by scottygrayskull

Seeing videos of JSJ being played, it seems like it would be a REAL BAD IDEA to do it with iPhones rather prone to breaking instead of much tougher (and cheaper) Move controllers. :\

Posted by Dogma

@lightsoda said:

@Jdaman said:

When did using the same game mechanic become such a big deal? How is this different from games modern military shooter that uses regenerating health, perks and down the sight aiming that many games are based on?

Also, how much can you get blamed for using a mechanic in a game that has been in developement forever and never released?

This. Moving on.

I kinda agree on this too but it's still sad that someone copys the concept, makes a game and publish it before the original. THIS is why game developers should be careful of what and when they show stuff from their game. As soon as it's out in the open it can be copied since the hard part may have been the idea and without having to think up this concept you can directly execute instead.

Posted by Cyrisaurus

The douchebag levels of that video have exceeded maximum. Had to stop watching.

Posted by bko

If I had dbagdar, it'd be blaring while that video played. Holy shit, hipsters. Look more ironic won't you.

Posted by buhssuht

was Gameloft involved?

Posted by nesagwa

No copyright or trademarks have been violated. The game will not be taken down - copying game mechanics is not a banable offense. Absolutely nothing will come of this. There is no justice to be had.

Posted by VargasPrime

Between the fact that the game is a ripoff of another

and the dubstep shit in the video

I don't know which is going to make me ignore this game more

Posted by Robot_Moses

I dunno, I'm not sure these two games can be considered analogous when it comes to sales, the required hardware is worlds apart, especially considering their install bases and demographics. Joust(if it ever comes out) will be a cool party game for Move owners and Quash looks like it will be for hilarious office shenanigans/grievous bodily harm.

Posted by GODWASP

I just flamed them on fb.

Posted by Fobwashed

I can only get as angry at this as I can about the load of Minecraft clones that were on the Xbox Indie channel before Minecraft proper finally came out on the system. Which is to say, not at all.

If there's a market that wants this type of game, and it's not being serviced, someone will service it. I'm not mad at those gameloft guys for putting out Tomb Raider/Uncharted clones on the iOS nor am I shouting at those Nova sci-fi fps games. If they were serious about releasing that Joust game on iOS, it would have happened long ago. It seriously wouldn't take this much time to get something out even if it were bare bones, or at least make an announcement about when it's coming. That other indie iOS hit sensation Tiny Wings was a total rip off of a free flash game but nobody cared because the creator of that flash game never had any inklings of showing that he/she was interested in releasing a version on the iOS. Either release your games, or hold onto your ideas so that other's don't release them. That's the state of the industry unless you can start patenting game ideas in which case we all lose because fuck Namco and their crazy patents on minigames during load screens and fighting game trainers.

Posted by Vitor

Um, because the best way to play this game is to potentially knock someone's expensive iphone out of their hand and onto the floor what with its brittle glass screen? 

Posted by laserbolts

Dumb idea for a game that is taking forever to come out is copied. Wow.

Posted by mrpandaman

@lightsoda said:

@Jdaman said:

When did using the same game mechanic become such a big deal? How is this different from games modern military shooter that uses regenerating health, perks and down the sight aiming that many games are based on?

Also, how much can you get blamed for using a mechanic in a game that has been in developement forever and never released?

This. Moving on.

Haha... MOVING on...

Anyways, I thought Gameloft was doing this not this company.

Posted by onan

@Robot_Moses said:

I dunno, I'm not sure these two games can be considered analogous when it comes to sales, the required hardware is worlds apart, especially considering their install bases and demographics. Joust(if it ever comes out) will be a cool party game for Move owners and Quash looks like it will be for hilarious office shenanigans/grievous bodily harm.

But ask yourself, if someone owns 4 Move controllers to get Joust up and running, statistically, what are the odds that he owns a smartphone? or an iPhone or iPod Touch, specifically? I'd say they're pretty high. Also, this may be the superior version, considering no one in their right mind would carry around Move controllers, while nearly everyone clued in enough to know what Joust is already has iPhones (and I'd imagine eventually Android devices).

Joust is already looking at a much smaller subset of the audience than Papa Quash ever would, so really, it's their own fault for not having more foresight. They've been waving this great concept around with nothing to show for it, not even a patent. I'm honestly shocked it has taken this long.

Posted by Deusoma

I thumbs-downed the Papa Quash video, not because it's a clone of a Move game I've never heard of, but because that was the worst trailer I've ever seen for explaining a product. Other than "slide to quash" (which means what, exactly?) that could have been a group of extremely baked college students playing with their phones.

Posted by gunslingerNZ

USTWO is not into cloning existing games...really? It's in the god damn name!

Posted by megalowho

This was pretty much the endgame for Joust since it first started gaining traction, right? Bring it to iOS/Android? Frankly I'm a bit surprised that the concept hasn't been implemented sooner, it's not terrifically complex. Die Gute Fabrik, indie darling and all, has kind of dropped the ball here. People don't just want to admire a game from afar, they want to play them.

Posted by thelsdj

A game that is never going to come out that requires hundreds of dollars in peripherals that no one would already have? Versus actually putting out a game on a platform that millions of people already have? I can't see why someone might clone it.

Posted by Marz

what did i just watch?

Posted by mrcraggle

JSJ feels like it's been around for ages yet you can't even play it. The alpha platform was Mac which already limits who it's available to. It's a really simple concept so why is it taking so long to come out?

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