Airconsole ripped off SpeedRunners, blames the contractor they hired to do so
I stumbled upon an interesting game called Runorama. It's a pure rip-off of our game SpeedRunners. Coincidentally it was developed by a studio we know -- called iLogos. I reached out to the studio, and they say that the company N-Dream (creators of Airconsole) approached them at Nordic Game Conference earlier this year with a contract job.
The contract job was to create a game based on a design document for their platform. Normally in these situations, the company giving the contract has all intellectual property rights, and the original developer remains in the shadows.
When I ask why is the developer listed as iLogos, the CEO of iLogos told me they're not aware of this, that this wasn't discussed between the parties.
As per normal procedure, we send a copyright takedown demand to N-Dream, and get this response.
They claim they don't see resemblance between SpeedRunners and Runorama
iLogos is the developer and they've already talked to them (they didn't), everyone is on the same page that this game is not a clone or rip-off
N-Dream is blaming iLogos for everything
Meanwhile iLogos say they've been contracted
Is N-Dream blaming a contractor they hired, trying to avoid responsibility?
I'm posting all of this simply because of the way N-Dream reacts to a copyright dispute from us. Any respectable platform has a procedure for copyright claims. We demand that N-Dream takedown Runorama from their platform immediately.
N-Dream came back to us with some more information regarding the whole situation. While it does seem like there was no design document, instead the order came in as "make something like "Giana Sisters: Dream Runners", "For Fun" or "SpeedRunners". The problem is that DreamRunners is an obvious clone of SpeedRunners as well (I can't say anything about the other one, as the name is super generic and doesn't yield any results. I have personally played DreamRunners and let it go as the game was a poorly executed clone that nobody cares about).
Here's their answer
N-Dream confirm they tasked iLogos with making a SpeedRunners clone
They try to avoid any liability stating that it's all iLogos' design
This doesn't take any moral or legal responsibility off N-Dream, only shifts a portion of it towards the contractor (in case there was indeed no detailed design document)
This still means N-Dream didn't properly react to our copyright claim and acted unprofessionally as a platform
This still means N-Dream actively supported funding of a cloning project, and they confirm they knew it looked too much like SpeedRunners -- yet decided to publish it anyway
As far as we're concerned, the clone is taken down and we don't care about whose fault it is. I'm still disappointed in the way that AirConsole handled this as a platform -- and are now trying to put a personal blame on me, but as long as the Runorama game is not available to play, it doesn't matter.
I'm going to end on the simple fact that N-Dream didn't react to our copyright takedown request until we took this public.