Is A Game Copy Legal?

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  • Hi there!

    I was wondering if it's legal to make a game that is clearly a rip-off? For example, a game called Super Marlo where the concept of the game is almost exactly like Super Mario. The levels are not the same but the behaviors of the enemies are the same and you are going down pipes etc. I've seen many games like that and always thought to myself "can they not be sued?"

    Thanks in advance,

    Tomolo Games /

  • First of all, I'm not a lawyer; but this is from what I know and remember. An idea can not be patented, but you do have to be vary of cloning.

    [quote:xh6qd8ym]Copyright law does not protect against the borrowing of the underlying idea in a creative work - only the specific expression of that idea. The rules, game mechanics, and functionality of a video game are said to "merge" with the underlying idea. This means that game mechanics and the rules are not entitled to protection. Only the "expressive elements" of the game are copyrightable.

    Here's a pretty good article to read.

  • As long as assets, code, anything else, including trademarks are not used within the game or to create the game (other than reference) I'm pretty sure it's fine.

    As soon as you call it Super Duper Mario Sisters or Warfield: Modern Battlefare though, people are going to take notice.

    I feel confident that I could emulate say.. Terraria without getting legal issues, as long as I didn't use any of their assets, code or tried to leach off their names.

  • There's a game called Geometry Dash and I started to make a game VERY similar to that one. I did it just to learn more and improve my Construct 2 skills but I quite like the results so that's why I asked. I even call it Geometry Trash haha. Wouldn't that be a problem?

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  • Google and Apple will shutdown your apps on first infringement/alert they get.

    The whole problem is that you clearly are using black hat seo. If you just re-skin a game, then i would say if its not something really peculiar, you won't have problems.

  • The fact of the matter is, game genres by their very nature become established because games borrow mechanics, structural elements, and conventions from earlier games. To have a videogame genre is to recognise a recurrent pattern of plagiarism that draws upon the successes of earlier games as its bedrock. This is a good thing for players: few but the most grizzled gamer hobbyists can face learning entirely original game rules every time they play, most prefer to play something that (in broad strokes, at least) strongly resembles an earlier game they have enjoyed. It means they have less to learn, and it increases the chance that they will enjoy the later game.

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