Johann Sebastian Joust Clone Disappears, Developer Responds

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Posted by patrickklepek (3984 posts) -
Johann Sebastian Joust may see a proper release eventually, but it's still a bit off.

Amidst allegations of cloning, Papa Quash is no longer on Apple's App Store.

Papa Quash had an uncomfortable similarity to indie gaming darling Johann Sebastian Joust from developer Die Gute Fabrik, and the resulting criticism has prompted Papa Quash to disappear.

Die Gute Fabrik addressed the issue in a lengthy blog post last night, but never called out Papa Quash specifically.

The company said it never gave permission for developer Ustwo to make a Johann Sebastian Joust-style game, which Ustwo originally claimed. In the same vein, Die Gute Fabrik pushed back against the notion of copyrighting mechanics, and cautioned people from drawing too many lines.

“We believe that it’s more productive to focus on making the best games possible, and giving them the unique ‘feel’ that only we can provide,” said the company in a statement. “That said, we do hope the community will continue to push back against cloning as a general development practice.”

The studio said negotiations about Johann Sebastian Joust are ongoing, and several publishers are interested in bringing the Move-driven motion control party game to a larger audience. There’s no real news to report on that front, however. Die Gute Fabrik is also prototyping their own iOS version, but, again, nothing concrete there, either.

“We also hope to develop a smart phone version of J.S. Joust in the future,” said the developer. “We’ve already discussed some ideas about how we’d tailor the game to such a platform.”

There has been no mention of the change to Papa Quash’s availability on the game’s Facebook or Twitter pages, but if you do a search for the game on the App Store, nothing comes up--poof.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3984 posts) -
Johann Sebastian Joust may see a proper release eventually, but it's still a bit off.

Amidst allegations of cloning, Papa Quash is no longer on Apple's App Store.

Papa Quash had an uncomfortable similarity to indie gaming darling Johann Sebastian Joust from developer Die Gute Fabrik, and the resulting criticism has prompted Papa Quash to disappear.

Die Gute Fabrik addressed the issue in a lengthy blog post last night, but never called out Papa Quash specifically.

The company said it never gave permission for developer Ustwo to make a Johann Sebastian Joust-style game, which Ustwo originally claimed. In the same vein, Die Gute Fabrik pushed back against the notion of copyrighting mechanics, and cautioned people from drawing too many lines.

“We believe that it’s more productive to focus on making the best games possible, and giving them the unique ‘feel’ that only we can provide,” said the company in a statement. “That said, we do hope the community will continue to push back against cloning as a general development practice.”

The studio said negotiations about Johann Sebastian Joust are ongoing, and several publishers are interested in bringing the Move-driven motion control party game to a larger audience. There’s no real news to report on that front, however. Die Gute Fabrik is also prototyping their own iOS version, but, again, nothing concrete there, either.

“We also hope to develop a smart phone version of J.S. Joust in the future,” said the developer. “We’ve already discussed some ideas about how we’d tailor the game to such a platform.”

There has been no mention of the change to Papa Quash’s availability on the game’s Facebook or Twitter pages, but if you do a search for the game on the App Store, nothing comes up--poof.

Staff
#2 Posted by RussianDrink (117 posts) -

Gotta admire a studio that really takes its time to compose a proper response while the internet was begging it to respond instantly.

#3 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

This is good in theory, but like Die Gute Fabrik said this is a horrible precident to set. Preventing improvement on existing concepts is not good for the industry. Papa Quash was a blatant ripoff, and the trailer made me hate it's very existence, but there was no copyright on JSJ, or it's concepts. From a business perspective you'd be crazy not to capitalize on the concept, and from a fan perspective they may have just wanted to get the idea out to more people. This is really a crappy piece of news.

#4 Posted by KoolAid (896 posts) -

I don't know. This still seems really strange. Die Gute Fabrik hasn't even released their game. It seems more like a neat idea to me. These other guys actually have a product.

I mean, this doesn't feel the same as when Zynga just cloned Tiny Tower on the same platform. If this iPhone version is a better version of the game, (and it looks like it is) then we should play that! It's the difference between ideas and products. Everyone has ideas, only some can make products.

#5 Posted by gbrading (2011 posts) -

Strange.

#6 Posted by Porkellain (253 posts) -

DA QUOTE DELTA

#7 Posted by chilibean_3 (1632 posts) -

Alright then. I guess it's back to never getting a chance to play this game or a game similar to it.

#8 Posted by Steve_C (1750 posts) -

Absolutely ridiculous that the game got pulled.

#9 Posted by Abendlaender (2780 posts) -

Ustwo? More like usTOO, amiright?

Online
#10 Posted by WiqidBritt (578 posts) -

why does every story about this game have the same picture of the short blonde girl?

#11 Posted by DJ_EuroGhost (129 posts) -

Cloning is a dick maneuver, but can you like, own an idea man?

#12 Posted by Generiko (445 posts) -

Why is it the same picture every time?

#13 Posted by xbob42 (493 posts) -

@WiqidBritt said:

why does every story about this game have the same picture of the short blonde girl?

Probably cause she's kinda cute.

#14 Posted by nickux (1385 posts) -

Oh look, ANOTHER story about Johann Sebastian Joust. Lemme see-- oh yep, same photo up top. I'm just teasing! But seriously, it's always interesting to see when games press people latch onto a game. I am a bit confused why a free PC game that isn't really played by that many people gets as much press as it does.

#15 Posted by WiqidBritt (578 posts) -

@xbob42 said:

@WiqidBritt said:

why does every story about this game have the same picture of the short blonde girl?

Probably cause she's kinda cute.

clearly, I'm just wondering if she has anything to do with the game's development, or something along those lines.

#16 Posted by chiablo (918 posts) -

I would have thought a game that involves a high risk of dropping the controller would not be suitable for a phone made of glass.

#17 Posted by MrMazz (945 posts) -

Justice

#18 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

lengthy

I laugh at you, Klepek! There's about three sentences in that blog post.

#19 Posted by PolyesterPimp (254 posts) -

Oh god what did i get myself into posting to that quote tree...

#20 Edited by Leptok (942 posts) -

Game journo's mad that a mobile game dares to rip off the indie darling they all fell in love with. 
 
Is this just mobile, and the super fast evolution it entails, finally grabbing something notable from consoles? 
 
 
And don't apologize for someone that cant get their shit together. This thing has been around for a year already.

#21 Posted by Enigma777 (6070 posts) -

Quote trees are a bannable offense on GB. Trust me, I know from personal experience.

#22 Posted by TheHakku (360 posts) -

I love how they said "smart phone" and not "iPhone." Good on them. ...And screw the quote pyramid.

#23 Posted by Vitor (2815 posts) -
@KoolAid said:

I don't know. This still seems really strange. Die Gute Fabrik hasn't even released their game. It seems more like a neat idea to me. These other guys actually have a product.

I mean, this doesn't feel the same as when Zynga just cloned Tiny Tower on the same platform. If this iPhone version is a better version of the game, (and it looks like it is) then we should play that! It's the difference between ideas and products. Everyone has ideas, only some can make products.

I have little sympathy for the Die Gute Fabrik guys at this point. Yes they had an incredible idea, but hey never released a product. And if you're naive enough to show your idea without a firm release soon after, then of course someone is going to fill the void in the market. Just seems like they have no business sense. I mean, how long has it been? And for a game so simple, how long does a mobile version take, which is clearly the biggest market available?  
 
Move is wonderfully accurate but it hardly set the world on fire. 
#24 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3234 posts) -

Didn't know we had so many hard-ass business sharks here on Giant Bomb. I can't imagine what incredible corporate titans they must have built with all of their savvy.

#25 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

FUCK THAT FUCKING HIPSTER BITCH OMG .. eheh

#26 Posted by Valke (71 posts) -

As much as I agree that "developers" should have more resolve than to blatantly cloned an existing product, I'm really getting tired of hearing about the "indie darling" JSJ that only gaming press, their friends, and a select few at conventions have had the ability to play. How about we call a halt on reporting about this "game" until us normal people can play it?

#27 Posted by Majkiboy (967 posts) -

WTF guys, stop with the pyramids -_-

Online
#28 Posted by tourgen (4461 posts) -

they didn't need permission to make their game. what the hell. that's not how copyright works.

#29 Posted by buft (3315 posts) -

Man i remember this one game of Joust that i played... oh wait that was a video of games press playing. I guess me and my buddies will go back to playing with loaded ice cream cones until we can play this "indie game darling" I assume the indie means independence from the wider game playing public.

#30 Posted by Hailinel (24284 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

Johann Sebastian Joust may see a proper release eventually, but it's still a bit off.

I'll tell you what else is a bit off. Every time I see this picture that Patrick loves posting in JSJ articles, it always makes me feel a little uneasy. It's like I'm seeing a picture of a woman trapped in a weird cult meeting trying desperately to convince everyone that going through with the mass suicide plot is a terrible idea. Meanwhile the guy in the foreground looks like he has Move-enhanced molestation on his mind.

I mean, just...yikes. These articles should make me feel interest in the game, yet all I feel is a tinge of dread. Dread admittedly cooked up by my own imagination, but dread nonetheless.

#31 Posted by GODWASP (41 posts) -

I flamed papa quash on fb :D

#32 Posted by Kraznor (1578 posts) -

@NekuCTR said:

This is good in theory, but like Die Gute Fabrik said this is a horrible precident to set. Preventing improvement on existing concepts is not good for the industry. Papa Quash was a blatant ripoff, and the trailer made me hate it's very existence, but there was no copyright on JSJ, or it's concepts. From a business perspective you'd be crazy not to capitalize on the concept, and from a fan perspective they may have just wanted to get the idea out to more people. This is really a crappy piece of news.

Agree entirely. This release is already limited due to only being available for the MOVE (do you know anyone with a MOVE? I mean, I do, but that dude's CRAZY), so another dev releasing a product promptly on a more widely available platform isn't evil or anything, just smart business. The JSJ people whining about it just seems unearned. You can't copyright mechanics.

#33 Posted by Winternet (8012 posts) -

Duuudes, I woke up and had 27 messages on my inbox, most of them thanks to this ridiculous chain-quotes. Jesus!

#34 Edited by Insectecutor (1186 posts) -

@Leptok said:

Game journo's mad that a mobile game dares to rip off the indie darling they all fell in love with. Is this just mobile, and the super fast evolution it entails, finally grabbing something notable from consoles? And don't apologize for someone that cant get their shit together. This thing has been around for a year already.

Agreed, JSJ looked done last year. Die Gute Fabrik have had ample chance to release a product but they've been resting on their laurels. It was only a matter of time before someone capitalised on their idea.

I get the feeling that this game has received more coverage than it deserves simply because it isn't commercially available. It's nothing more than a curio, had it been released last year it might have enjoyed about a month of popularity then disappeared forever.

Edit: And also it's a game mechanic that could be achieved with a boombox and some ping pong balls and spoons.

#35 Posted by aquamarin (555 posts) -

I have really sensitive eyes so this thread always me enjoy some reasonable discussion with dim text just the way I like it.

#36 Posted by scottygrayskull (437 posts) -

Why is nobody addressing how bad an idea it is to have this sort of a game for the rather expensive iPhone? D:

#37 Edited by Sweep (8837 posts) -

Alright, that's it. These ridiculous quote trees need to stop. They are fucking up the forums.

And by "Stop" I mean "Unless you stop I'm going to start flipping tables".

And by "tables" I mean "you".

Moderator
#38 Posted by TastyBread (39 posts) -

I knew this was going to happen so I downloaded papa quash immeadiately. Nobody has heard of jsjoust but everyone I've played papa quash with love it. Gameloft copies games all the time, more offensively in my opinion. This is just a game mechanic, and it's a shame that they were bullied into taking it down because It copied a game that hasn't been released yet.

#39 Edited by envane (1162 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Alright, that's it. These ridiculous quote trees need to stop. They are fucking up the forums.

And by "Stop" I mean "Unless you stop I'm going to start flipping tables".

And by "tables" I mean "you".

@Sweep: :/ allllllright .. *walks away disappointed*

#40 Posted by ChrisTaran (1579 posts) -

J.S. Joust has never been and continues not to be a videogame. Why in the world does it keep showing up on videogame websites?

#41 Posted by buzz_clik (6962 posts) -

QUASHED.

Moderator
#42 Posted by GrandHarrier (180 posts) -

So, out of curiousity, why should we care about this "game", or that it is being cloned like every other game has been? Why is it being cloned somehow newsworthy?

#43 Posted by YukoAsho (2014 posts) -

@tourgen said:

they didn't need permission to make their game. what the hell. that's not how copyright works.

People have copyright confused with patent. It's actually quite amusing. You can't copyright mechanics, you can only patent them, and patent protection doesn't last nearly as long.

And while I understand the worry about not being able to release evolutions on games, patents are the only way to legally have any ground in these discussions. Therefore, there are only two options:

A) Patent your game mechanics.

B) Shut the fuck up and learn to deal with it like the rest of the game industry has done for the past 40 years.

#44 Posted by Zioman (1 posts) -

Interesting.

#45 Posted by Kazona (3063 posts) -

How can something be a clone of a product that isn't even out yet?

#46 Posted by bko (131 posts) -

Well that's a relief. Now we can all resume not playing this supposedly amazing game concept while we wait another two or three years for them to release it.

It must be nice to be an indie darling with nothing to show for it except unearned clout and empty-for-now promises.

#47 Posted by YukoAsho (2014 posts) -

@bko said:

Well that's a relief. Now we can all resume not playing this supposedly amazing game concept while we wait another two or three years for them to release it.

It must be nice to be an indie darling with nothing to show for it except unearned clout and empty-for-now promises.

Hey, it can only go down from here, I suppose. Hell, look at Phil Fish. He was an indie darling for several years, and now that his game's out, he's just the author of a painfully unintuitive puzzle/platformer.

#48 Posted by DutchLaw (8 posts) -

Pushing each other while holding a controller: Good

Pushing each other while holding an expensive phone which has rapidly became your only way to communicate during everyday life: Bad

#49 Posted by psoplayer (238 posts) -

@ChrisTaran said:

J.S. Joust has never been and continues not to be a videogame. Why in the world does it keep showing up on videogame websites?

Because it was created by people who also make video games, and is played with video game equipment. (Not to mention it actually being a lot of fun to play.)

#50 Posted by Hailinel (24284 posts) -

@GrandHarrier said:

So, out of curiousity, why should we care about this "game", or that it is being cloned like every other game has been? Why is it being cloned somehow newsworthy?

Because JSJ is an indie darling and thus both it and its developers are immune from criticism and scorn from the enthusiast press, no matter how justified. It sucks, but there's a segment of the indie dev community that pretty much has the press by the balls.

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