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JohnHeatz avatar 11:46 AM on 10.29.2013  (server time)
Mutual respect between developers

For a long time now, game developers have been working either alone or together, making some "partnerships" and so on, in order to get their products out to the public.

Some times, there are some "coincidences" between products, which belong to the same genre and so have similar ideas, and why not, some similar concept in general, going from playability, art, models...I can keep going there.

Just recently, and by recently I mean in the last 48 hours, an Indie Developer rushed some assumptions, and went all against a big publisher because they published a game that had some similar concept to the game they're currently developing. I'm talking about ROAM developer, who publicly attacked 505 Games and Eko Software because of their recently released game How to Survive.

He lashed out against these companies due to the fact that he thought they copied his idea, which was officially announced through ROAM's Kickstarter Campaign back in January, 2013. As he explained, at some point he got contacted by 505 Games with the offer to publish his game, offer that he rejected.

This is why Ryan Sharr, creator of ROAM, assumed that there was no coincidence on this matter, and claimed that 505 Games "blatantly stole" his idea.

It turns out that How to Survive was under development since 2011, as shown in French Governmental organization CNC, whichsupportedthe game back in November 2011.

Talking with an Eko Software representative, I got told that ROAM developer never talked to them before doing these accusations, and it does seem like he didn't even do any sort of research about the game either.

These sort of situation hurt the reputation of either (or all?) parties involved, mostly when they are true, for obvious reasons. But when something like this happens and an Indie Developer openly attacks another developer, or a publisher, without having any idea of what is actually happening, they hurt their own reputation, because showing this kind of temper tantrums to the public, simply doesn't look good.

After all this happened, ROAM developer (who never replied to any email that was sent to him) apologized to 505 Games and Eko Software, but my question this enough? 

The reputation of Eko Software and 505 Games got compromised because of the lack of research on the part of Sharr, and then, the reputation of his own company got hurt because of this same situation. Seems like a situation that could've gotten resolved by simply communicating with each other got out of hand simply because Sharr didn't communicate, didn't talk to the other parties involved in the situation, and it looks like a huge disrespect towards 505 Games and Eko Software, not only because of the accusation per se, but also because he simply didn't do any research beforehand.

It is, though, quite good that he openly admitted his mistake and apologized.

What do you think about these sort of situations? Do you think an apology "solves" it?

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