There’s a distinction between games that are inspired by or pay homage to other games, and the game clones that are clear rip-offs. Sometimes the knock-off may become a runaway success, and other times it can get tangled up in a legal battle. However, it’s possible the emergence of VR could encourage more studios to take an innovative approach to game development. In an interview with VRScout, Mirage Interactive CEO Ke Wang explains why game cloning is prevalent, particularly within the Chinese development community, and how VR is changing the development process for some companies.
When asked why Chinese developers often copy other successful titles, Wang reveals the choice is not really up to the devs themselves. “Chinese game developers really hate to copy other people’s games,” Wang explains. “The problem is, it’s not up to them. Usually the investor of the company forces them to copy because it is profitable.”
Investors looking to break into the emerging VR market, though, have to settle for an development approach that encourages creativity rather than copying. “In VR, there are not that many games to copy, so developers are free to experiment and make new experiences,” Wang continues. “Once the trend for game developers show that being innovative will be more profitable than copying, then copying will become poison.”
Wang has charted the course for the development of Mirage Interactive’s own upcoming VR title, Heroes of the Seven Seas, with an original gameplay experience in mind. He also seems hopeful that VR can bring about an end to game cloning throughout the industry. “Mirage Interactive has never copied any game,” he remarks. “Hopefully copying games will be terminated in ten to twenty years.”