In one of today's main Gamasutra features, Reflexive Entertainment CEO Lars Brubaker and programmer/designer Simon Hallam sit down for an interview regarding the past, present and future of the noted casual game company (IGF winner/Xbox 360 Live Arcade title Wik & The Fable Of Souls, Ricochet
), including concept art from a new, unannounced title.
When asked about his perspective on the alleged problem of plagiarism and 'clones' in the casual game market, Brubaker has a compelling answer:
"There's a million perspectives to pick on that as well, and the most significant is what does the customer want to buy. It's easy to say that one concept is plagiarizing another but usually the one plagiarized is the one that didn't sell, and the one that's plagiarizing is remarkably successful. No one really cares if you stole their idea for a game that doesn't sell. The reality is – and again I have to go back to the movie analogy or the book analogy – that it's always the same story, it's always the same book, it's always the same game in a lot of ways.
There are few game genres that games defined, like in our current market space we have the match-three or the puzzle or the find. But if really you look at the diversity that's been done with match-three, some are remarkably successful, and the vast majority aren't. To claim that they're all just rip-offs of Bejeweled is really simple."
You can read the full Gamasutra interview on the subject
, including plenty more fascinating discussion about the state of casual games (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).