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Rampant Games - On "Limbo of the Lost" Impact on Indies

by Magerette, 2008-06-15 19:05:31

Rampant Coyote  has made some interesting comments over on his blog on the recent exposure of alleged plagiarism in  Majestic Studios' Limbo of the Lost, which we first reported here. RC looks at it from an indie developer standpoint and concludes it's a very bad can of worms to have opened for the indie world:

And here's the extra sucky part: These guys, Majestic Studios, are / were - as far as I can tell - basically indies. I don't know how much (if at all) that Tri Synergy[the publisher] funded the game's development, but these guys have been working on this adventure game since the Amiga days...

So who's to blame? Did Majestic Studios even know about the problem? Or did they get screwed over by a contractor? If the latter, I really, really hope they got a legal document from said contractor stating that it was his original work. Not that it will prevent Majestic from ceasing to exist, and possibly dragging Tri Synergy with it, but at least it might reduce the owners' liability should Eidos, Bethesda, and Tri Synergy get litigious. Which they might.

But it it might not stop there. Tri Synergy is not a major publisher. They are a second- or third-string publisher that gets tiny games like this to market, both at retail and online. This is potentially a pretty monstrous disaster from their perspective. Every publisher's nightmare, I expect...

What sort of ripple effect might this cause among the small publishers and developers? The indies of the world looking for a publishing deal to take their game to retail? I'm foreseeing a lot more paperwork (and expense) going into due diligence, and publishers being a lot more gun-shy about signing on new studios that haven't been around long enough to establish a track record.

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