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iOS cloning controversy over PlayStation Move indie game

Ustwo's newest title has been accused of being a clone of Johann Sebastian Joust

Ustwo's latest game, Papa Quash, has been accused of being an iOS copy of the PlayStation Move title Johann Sebastian Joust, developed by Die Gute Fabrik. The original is a music-based Move title, where players attempt to move their opponent's Move controller out of the allowable threshold without doing so themselves. Papa Quash is the same style of play, but with players trying to knock an opponent's iPhone or iPod.

Ustwo marketing director Steve Bittan told Gamasutra that the studio developed the title for Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother UK contestant. He insisted that the title was not created in-house.

"Papa Quash was a concept from Sam Pepper. We made the app for Sam Pepper. It's his app. Not ours," Bittan told Gamasutra. "It's not an Ustwo app. It's a Sam Pepper app."

"Sam has a typical fan base. Young and into social media. We asked him to reach out to J. S. Joust and explain his concept which he did. We had assurance everything was ok," he continued. "We told him about J. S. Joust and he emailed them to OK it. After we got that assurance we did service work on it."

There game was launched through Ustwo's App Store account, but bittan says that's because of issue's with Pepper's account.

"He wanted to launch it and we had issues with his account so went with ours so he could reach out to his fans. He is a ex-Big Bro contestant in UK and has a big Twitter and YouTube following. We're in process of getting his account set up," Bittan said.

"We're not into cloning. We genuinely care about what we do and out reputation in the indie community. We're upset about how it's been perceived."

According to the blog Functional Autonomy, Sam Pepper backed up Bittan's claims when asked about the game on Facebook. Die Gute Fabrik has yet to make a full statement on the matter, but it has released a few messages on Twitter.

"Just to be clear, we have never and would never approve, give permission, or encourage anyone to clone of any of our games," said one tweet.

"Sorry for the delayed response, folks. We're working hard to formulate the right words. We'll do everything we can to comment [tomorrow]," they later added.

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.