Day 2: The Blocks Stoleth
First of all Melvin and I just want to thank everyone across the internet and twitter for your comments, articles and tweets regarding this shitty situation of our game being ripped off. Your support means the world to us and it’s so important to get this message out there, so that other developers know what is going on and that this could be happening to them right now.
Here is a recap of how the whole thing went down, what is happening now and what we are waiting on. This way everyone can be brought up to speed.
Late Thursday night I received a call from Melvin “Hey man, I think we need to get a lawyer.” he said. Right away I’m thinking “uh-oh what did I do?” He informed me that he had stumbled across a game in the app store called “The Blocks Cometh” and not only was it the name of our game it WAS our game!
So right after our conversation, Melvin had to be up early in the morning, so I took control of the situation as best as I could. It was about midnight when I got this news and at this point I was freakin’ out! I then spent the next 3 hours writing apple a frantic email. I don’t know if any of you have tried to actually contact apple but it is a daunting task let me tell you! There is no clear email contact or god forbid a phone number to call to actually talk to someone. Melvin managed to find firstname.lastname@example.org and that’s where my first email went. I sent them a side by side comparison of our game and the game in question. It clearly stated that this was our game. After that I was still feeling helpless and I decided this was something people needed to be made aware of. So I got writing and I contacted a bunch of different media outlets that related to video games. The emails were crudely written but it was late and I did my best.
Internets Fight Back
Friday morning I woke up really early. I think I had about 3-4hrs of sleep. The first thing I did was check my email and I was psyched to find an email from none other then Jim Sterling of Destructoid. It just happens we are huge fans of Jim and Destructoid so it was awesome to see that he was on the case. Jim was the first to break the story and he wrote an excellent article about what had happened. Destructoid Article Following that article received a lot or support from people on twitter and 2 more excellent articles from PocketGamer and Gamezebo During this time we were alerted by our good friend Yowan from Juicy Beast Studios that the one change made to the rip off version of The Blocks Cometh (The hero character) was stolen from another popular flash game The League of Evil We contacted the developer WoblyWare and they have since also contact apple about it.
Waiting on Apple
Since late Thursday night we have sent apple 4 separate emails to 4 separate email addresses and we also called the one phone number we were able to find for support. The service person was nice but could not directly help us and told us who to email. As it seems apple is about as comfortable talking to people on the phone as I am. This disconnect is extremely frustrating in this situation because you don’t really know if anyone has seen the complaint, looking into it or dismissing it. We can only hope that its only a slow process and that the game will be removed soon.
The Long Hand of the Law
So a lot of people have suggested we take legal action against Edison Game and this definitely seems like a situation that calls for it. We would definitely send this company and it’s owners a cease and desist letter if anyone could actually find them. This very funny response from a commenter “EdisonGame Supporter” on Touch Arcade sums it up nicely.
“I am so outraged by your scurrilous accusations, sir, that I have decided to alert the decent, honest, hard-working folk at EdisonGame to your slanderous claims.
However, fortunately for you, the support links for all of their games on iTunes seem to be mysteriously dead, leading to placeholder web-pages or nothing at all. In fact, I have failed to find any contact details for EdisonGame anywhere on the web.
I suspect that, not satisfied with defaming the good people at EdisonGame, you have launched some kind of internet attack on that wholly admirable company, deleting every trace of their web-presence! Why, it’s the only possible explanation!
Shame on you, sir. Shame on you.” – EdisonGame Supporter
The Game is doing so good it hurts
As of this moment The Blocks Cometh is #92 in overall games in the US app store. Part of me is livid because that rightfully should have been our game rising to the Top #100 and it means thousands of people have probably downloaded it already and may never down load it again. Thats money we may never see and that really sucks for us. We’re just 2 guys trying to make a living at this and we can’t afford set backs like these. So that all sucks but, there is a positive side to all of this. For one, a hell of a lot more people know about The Blocks Cometh and brand is as strong as it has ever been. Secondly, more people know who Halfbot is today then they did last week. And although it may not be because they played one of our games, at least they know we exist now. We got a lot of amazing support with people protesting this rip off and to wait for the real version of the game to come out. So in the end I’m sure it will all work out for the best.
Finally, The REAL Blocks Cometh is coming!
Lastly I just want to assure everyone that we are very hard at work on the real port for The Blocks Cometh. We are gathering up the comments from the itunes store and using those suggestions to make the game even better. And let us assure you, it will be better, WAY better then the one in there now. So SUCK ON THAT EdisonGame!