Alex Nichiporchik, the outspoken CEO of indie developer and publisher tinyBuild, is calling out two companies for releasing a copycat of his firm's hit SpeedRunners.
In a blog post, he claims Runorama - a multiplayer title on N-Dream's browser games platform Airconsole - is a "pure rip-off" of tinyBuild's game, and one developed by iLogos. When he reached out to iLogos, the studio claimed it was contracted by N-Dream for that particular project.
"The contact job was to create a game based on a design document for their platform," Nichiporchik wrote. "Normally in these situations, the company giving the contract has all intellectual property rights, and the original developer remains in the shadows.
"When I ask why is the developer listed as iLogos, the CEO of iLogos told me they're not aware of this, that this wasn't discussed between the parties."
Nichiporchik issued a copyright takedown demand to N-Dream, which responded with a letter claiming that Runorama was not a clone, rip-off or derivative work based on SpeedRunners. N-Dream also claimed it had reached out to iLogos, which also maintained it was an original work, and that Nichiporchik should continue his takedown request with them.
Nichiporchik's appraisal of the situation is that while iLogos claims it was contracted to create Runorama, N-Dream "is blaming [them] for everything" and questions whether the creator of Airconsole is "blaming a contractor they hired, trying to avoid responsibility?"
"Any respectable platform has a procedure for copyright claims," Nichiporchik concludes. "We demand that N-Dream takedown Runorama from their platform immediately."
Since the tinyBuild blog post has been published, Runorama seems to have been taken offline and is not, at the time of writing, through Airconsole. However, it is unclear whether this is in response to the takedown notice.
Update: Since publishing this story, N-Dream has issued a complete statement that claims "Tinybuild has made false allegations against us." The company wrote, "We are disappointed how the CEO of Tinybuild has communicated with us, how he wrote a blogpost with simply false statements and how he is spreading this false information without even having heard us out." Read the statement in its entirety right here.