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Double trouble: Did a clone win the grand prize at Samsung's Smart App Challenge?

Double trouble: Did a clone win the grand prize at Samsung's Smart App Challenge?
Last week, Samsung announced the winners of its Smart App Challenge for 2012 – a contest designed to provide "support for the development of innovative apps."

In the games category, Asian developer Feelingtouch was awarded the grand prize of $200,000 for its on-rails shooter Gun & Blood.

However, Czech outfit Craneballs has since contacted PocketGamer.biz to say that Gun & Blood isn't so innovative after all. In fact, the studio alleges that Gun & Blood is a "direct rip-off" of Craneballs' own on-rails shooter, Overkill.

Discovery

"Someone here at Craneballs accidentally discovered Gun & Blood on Google Play and we immediately recognised Overkill in it," explained Craneballs marketing manager Daniel Maslovsky.

"At that time we took it as a good joke, to see our game was so good it was worth stealing.

"But you can imagine how that changed now, seeing the title winning a prize for innovative app, instead of being buried somewhere deep and dark."


Craneball released an image comparing the two games

Maslovsky alleges that, not only does the game take inspiration from Overkill, but it's in fact a "direct rip-off."

"They've stolen the whole game design, design of individual menus, everything. In the first version they even copied our in-game text word for word," he continued.

"And this is not even the first time Feelingtouch has done this. Cut the Rope had a similar clone, but it has been taken off."

No need

PocketGamer.biz contacted Feelingtouch for its take on the allegations. The firm's defense focuses on the idea that there's simply no motivation for it to copy Craneballs' title.

"We own 100 percent copyright of Gun & Blood. You can check the link in Google Play for Gun & Blood and Overkill," Feelingtouch said in a statement.

"We have more downloads, better rank and more reviews. Why we need to copy them?"


Feelingtouch's Gun & Blood

Indeed, according to its Google Play store page, Gun & Blood has accrued between 5 and 10 million downloads since its launch in March.
Overkill, meanwhile, has been installed between 1 and 5 million times since it hit the Google Play store in January 2012.

Feelingtouch's statement seems to suggest Craneballs reported its clone claims to Google "months ago", yet the game remains on Google Play, suggesting Google "does not think it's a 'copy'."

Internal discussion

Samsung's position on the issue, however, is unclear.



It's worth noting that, although Samsung billed its Smart App Challenge as a contest for "innovative apps," only one category in the competition was evaluated by a judging panel.
Craneballs' Overkill

The winners of all the other categories – including the games category – were chosen purely on the basis of their popularity within the Samsung Apps marketplace, with Gun & Blood's download tally meaning it came out on top in the grand prize category.

However, the App Challenge's full terms and conditions state that "all participants warrant that their entries are original and that they are the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted entries and all included content".

The competitions conditions also state that "no third parties will make any challenges or claims as to ownership or fraud, and that they have the right to submit the entries in the Challenge and grant all required licenses."

In response to our story, a Samsung representative declared Gun & Blood the "most popular application among users" in the grand prize category.

However, said representative did admit that the company is currently "having a internal discussion regarding to the Overkill and Gun And Blood copyright issues."

Staff Writer

PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013

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