As first reported by Gamezebo, David Edery, CEO of Spry Fox, has spoken out against 6waves Lolapps on his website, and has filed a copyright infringement suit against the Facebook and mobile game developer. Via his website:
"We (Spry Fox) have filed a copyright infringement suit in federal court against 6Waves LOLAPPS in response to their release of Yeti Town, their blatant copy of Triple Town. This was a difficult decision for Danc and I. We are not enthusiastic about the prospect of spending our time in court as opposed to making games. And in general, we believe that only in the most extreme circumstances should a video game developer resort to legal action in order to defend their creative works - the last thing our industry needs is frivolous lawsuits. Unfortunately, it is our opinion that 6waves has behaved in a reprehensible and illegal manner, and we can not, in good conscience, ignore it."
But this isn't just a matter of the two games having nearly identical gameplay mechanics, as the similarities, says Edery, go much deeper than that.
"Yeti Town, as launched by 6waves, was a nearly perfect copy of Triple Town. We're not just talking about the game's basic mechanics here. We're talking about tons of little details, from the language in the tutorial, to many of our UI elements, to the quantities and prices of every single item in the store (how exactly did 6waves "independently" decide to price 200 turns for 950 coins, or 4 wildcards for 1500 coins each? That's quite a coincidence!)"
Adding another twist to the story is the news that 6waves Lolapps and Spry Fox were, for a time, under negotiations for 6waves to publish Triple Town. According to Edery, the company was given "private access to Triple Town when it was still in closed beta, months before the public was exposed to the game." These negotiations were allegedly broken, via Facebook message, the day that Yeti Town was published.
If these accusations turn out to be true, I imagine it might be difficult for 6waves Lolapps to save face with those familiar with both games. Either way, this does also raise questions in another similar situation - that between Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit and Dream Heights creator Zynga. If Spry Fox is willing to go to court over alleged copyright issues, will NimbleBit also be? We'll make sure to stay on top of both stories, and will bring you more details as they develop.
[Image Credit: Edery.org]
Do you think Spry Fox has a case against 6waves, or are the similarities between the two games inconsequential? Which of the two games do you prefer to play? Sound off in the comments.