One And One Story: The Indie Game That Was Stolen
A horrible truth has been revealed: people steal games. And I don’t mean theft of a hard copy game. I mean, people steal the actual code for the game where they release it themselves as the developer.
This sad truth happened to an 18-year-old first time developer, who didn’t let this get the better of him. Mattia Traverso was originally working on One and One Story in the IGF 2012, where he was a student finalist.
One and One Story was subsequently stolen, not cloned or copied. But stolen. It was his exact game with his exact code.
Once Traverso found out that his game was stolen, he went to Twitter to announce this fact.
The group who stole the game used assets which were included in the game, however unused in Traverso’s release. According to Traverso, who spoke to Joystiq, the graphics were completely stretched where the animation was broken. A stolen broken game, in other words.
At the moment Traverso thinks that the story is quite funny, however when it first came to light via Google Alerts he wasn’t impressed. He was also very confused.
“I panicked. I didn’t know what to do, so I screamed on Twitter,” he said.
His voice on Twitter caught the attention of Adam Saltsman, another indie developer. Saltsman told Traverso to file for a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown, which would force sites and companies to remove the game from their listings.
“Adam Atomic helped with the DMCA with an incredible kindness,” he said. “It was fantastic to see once again the indie community unite as one just to help a fellow!”
With the legal route working, he wasn’t done.
Traverso then found the team responsible for the theft. It was a Vietnam group named AFOLI JSC. And funny enough, they seem to do this quite often. AFOLI JSC created a game called Pikachu Ultimate and Pikachu Ultimate HD, both of which feature a very familiar looking yellow superstar.
Although Traverso knows who stole the game, he doesn’t care if they are punished. He just wants their game off the internet.
“The only thing I want is the game off the App Store,” Traverso said. “They don’t need to be punished.”
Traverso doesn’t want people to buy the fake game.
“The clone wasn’t probably selling — the reviews seem fake — so with all this buzz, we could have made the situation worse,” Traverso said. “I’m pretty anxious since all this cover up spread the clone a lot, but maybe, if Apple does something about it, this could also help the original game.”
And this shows that theft doesn’t pay off. Well, not all of the time, anyway.
You can play the real version of One and One Story for free. It’s actually really fun. And super enjoyable.