So, about that MaXplosion [$.99] thing -- you know, that story about Twisted Pixel Games not digging MaXplosion because of how much it boosted from Twisted Pixel's Xbox Live Arcade title Splosion Man? That thing. Capcom issued its official response this afternoon stating that, yes, it did see Splosion Man before it came out but, no, that team and Capcom Mobile never talked about Splosion Man. MaXplosion, in other words, isn't what happens when you pitch your title to the publisher. In fact, Capcom is “saddened by this situation” and wants to earn back your trust, as a fan, in the company.

It also wants to rebuild developers' trust. This is an angle we didn't take in our last news story because, well, most of you aren't game developers. You see, this MaXplosion debacle makes Capcom look like Dr. Wily in the eyes of indie developers. Would you want to pitch a game to Capcom after seeing what happened here? Nah, man, you wouldn't. Well, maybe you would. Eating makes your tummy feel good.

Anyway, here’s the full response:

“While Twisted Pixel did have discussions with our console game team about publishing Splosion Man on game consoles, Capcom Mobile is a different division of Capcom with separate offices and as such, had no prior knowledge of any meetings between the console game team and Twisted Pixel. MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community.”

  • Scioncraze

    this is bullshit, should get the title pulled

  • Geronimo7

    It's a little unbelievable isn't it, Capcom? So there's no cross pollination between your regular and mobile studios? Are we to believe the companies are completely seperate in every was save the name? I just don't buy it.

    At least Gameloft admit they're rip off artists.

  • Adams Immersive

    Maybe (seems dubious) there was no official on-the-record contact between people working in different Capcom offices... or maybe even no contact at ALL (and the choice of which game to steal was then coincidental). But the bigger issue is the blatant cloning of the game, and that’s still very wrong.

    It’s like Capcom is saying “sorry we stole this game, but please believe us, we didn’t steal it BECAUSE they showed it to us—that’s just an amazing coincidence, and we would have stolen it anyway, honest! Getting caught saddens us. We’d like you to trust us, as we continue to sell this game we stole from someone too small to defend themselves.”

    I try to keep an open mind and hear all sides of things, but I can’t see two sides to this one.

  • Paradigmino

    Shameful ripoff. I love Capcom, but this is low. That just makes me cast doubt, not on their creative teams, but on their leading executive staff. Not to be trusted.

    Its a shame because Street Fighter 4 is probably the best game on the iphone.

  • http://twitter.com/ForyourPeteDodd famousmortimer

    The amount of time this came out after splosion man came out makes me think capcom mobile ripped off the idea from playing it on XBLA, not from seeing it earlier. I mean I guess it's plausible that they started working on it after seeing it earlier... but a decent mobile team can plop out a copycat like that in a few months time.

  • FastOne

    Big deal. Explosions are just a double/triple jump mechanic.

    You can't copyright game mechanics, only the art and written rules. And you can trademark the name. That's good enough IP protection. People complaining should realize that quite a few indie devs copy game mechanics and improve upon them. Within this legal framework, indie devs can innovate faster than big companies. So it's much ado about nothing in my opinion.

    Did you know that you can make a Monopoly clone using a different name, art, and your own instructions? That's not a bad thing, so stop harping on Capcom for using one similar game mechanic that in itself is copied from platformers using a double or triple jump mechanic.

    • Anonymous

      You're over-simplifying the situation just to serve your own arguments... Open a picture of each game side-by-side. There's no way in hell you can try to claim that the ONLY similarity between the two is the double-jump mechanic. No way.

      You said yourself you can copyright art; the design of the main character in Maxplosion is an exact clone of Splosion Man. Both are sentient gobs of lava that have a predeliction towards exploding and regenerating instantly - you're trying to claim that's not a unique character design? That's something so vague that Capcom clearly didn't rip anyone off here? Please stop joking.

      • FastOne

        I bought MaXplosion and was comparing the image that was in the story--the main characters look nothing alike. One looks like a flaming devil and the other kind of like the Trix rabbit. I went and looked at the trailer for Splosion Man and yup, they still look nothing alike. Splosion Man is more a cartoony 2.5D game. As far as level "design" goes, I can only base it off of what I've played and MaXplosion is your basic 2D platformer with switches, "pellets" to eat, and hidden areas. Could be one of dozens of platformers out there.

        The only thing we don't know for sure is if Capcom used the idea after turning it down. If so, that is a dick move. They seem to be denying it. Do you have proof to the contrary or just your subjective opinion?

      • Asdas

        fsdfs

      • Anonymous

        One looks like the Trix rabbit? What?

        This is the devil from Maxplosion:
        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_0TuFUqAQNgw/TSg0Z6F4EWI/AAAAAAAAHfY/qYq6dbJJUMs/s1600/MaXplosion.jpg

        This is Splosion Man:
        http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/videogames/detail-page/B002HWSDVW.01.lg.jpg

        They're both all red, both naked, both crotchless and both have a "crazy head ornament." The devil has horns, Splosion Man has some kind of fire-and-coal mane thing going on. It's extremely similar and when two characters are this similar, that's called copyright infringement.

        Same goes for the backdrops and overall graphic design. They don't use the same graphic design _style_, but they very clearly use the same design _concept_.

      • Smit

        Capcom added ears. Laffle.

    • SoulShading

      You my friend, are exactly the reason why the game industry stays in a state of toy for kids and not become a mature medium or even art like the movie or music industry did.
      Maturing doesn't imply just making more money. It also requires to industry and cutomers to mature their own practice and the like of Gameloft or in this case Capcom or all those other birds who base their business model on ripping others content/ideas, no matter how successful they can be, are keeping us in the baby diapers.

      • FastOne

        Please. Every story in existence could probably be distilled down to several story archetypes. Hell, maybe even one would suffice. Everything mankind does is built upon the shoulders of others, and that's not a bad thing. Have you ever heard of open source or creative commons or is Hollywood's version of IP the only one you know about?

        I happen to believe that Gameloft has innovated upon the ideas of others. In a free market, if the original creators aren't willing to give what the market wants, somebody will. That somebody is Gameloft and they've done nothing illegal. Their games are among the best visually. Give them enough time and they'll come up with something original that some indie could, ahem, borrow.

        You may not like Gameloft because you think they're ripping off ideas, but I submit that those "originals" borrowed from others before them. And so on ad infinitum. Maybe not to the same extent, but Gameloft still fulfills a need; hence their success.

        And by the way, I am an indie developer who's spent more than two years on our game. We have many original ideas, but I'd be a fool to claim that we didn't build upon the works of others before us.

      • SoulShading

        Don't get me wrong. As I said in the comment of the previous article regarding the Capcom case, I condemn direct copies. Borrowing and improving idea is acceptable even though coming from a company that has the financial strength to create and take risks.
        In the case of gameloft, they do not improve, they do not create. They take and redo exactly the same.
        I'm an indie too. Hasn't always been. I spent 10 years making AA games for big publishers and strangely, I have problem with taking the free market crap when it comes to justify replica with no improvement. In particular coming from another indie.

  • FastOne

    By the way, the title for this article sounds juvenile. Try replacing "Thing" with Controversy or Issue, etc. It sounds too flippant and is not creative.

    • EastsideStompers

      I think he was going for the Facetious tone, which I find quite apt as I too need a little light relief from all these posts about negative money pinching antics. It's also apt as Twisted Pixel seem to have an equally 'swiftly moving on' attitude to this 'thing'. I admire their public response to it all which I interpreted to boil down to 'Well, It kind of sucks, but hey no biggy, as our next game will run rings around any of Capcom Mobiles games and then some'. What a refreshing attitude: )

      • FastOne

        I do applaud them for taking the high road. It's not often that a little guy gets the upper hand if Capcom did in fact screw them.

  • poutini

    does anyone think it's hilarious that capcom's version looks so much worse than twisted pixel's even though they have significant financial backing?

    • Halion

      A mobile game versus a console game? The latter will, in most cases, look better due to the better hardware. So no, it's not "hilarious".

      • Anonymous

        Have you even seen Splosion Man? In no way, shape or form does it take advantage of the capabilities of the consoles it's on. It could have been done on a PS1; it's actually a very ugly game.

        So, the fact that Maxplosion manages to look EVEN WORSE is, in fact, pretty hilarious.

  • Suckmyjohnnys

    I was going to write to Capcom to ask if they partner with my game.

    I dont think so any more.

    What a dirty underhand biz this is and why because theres mountains of gold to be made if you get it right.

    • JoeSchmoe

      They probably wouldn't of partnered with your game anyways.

      • Sirke

        Yea they wouldn't. But they would have release a clone of it next year, ha ha.

  • Jim

    "Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community by pulling MaXplosion from the App Store and punching ourselves in the stomaches several times each."

  • http://www.president-electronics.ro Mihai_88_06

    A console game it`s not fair to be compared with a mobile one. The console game definetly will be better.

  • fluid

    next month, brace for impact: maXplosion 2 super turbo prime !

  • Leegames

    "Big deal. Explosions are just a double/triple jump mechanic. " this. After all isnt Splosion Man just Mega Man with explosions ;)
    If you are an indie developer it is okay to be "inspired"- if any of the bigger companies do so (even on a different platform) then they are evil. Talk about double standards.

  • Nineofspades07

    are they making this free then? :D

  • Shady Capcom

    "we obviously didn't copy Splosion man, as he pitched it to our console team, not our mobile development team."

    Good argument really. NOT

  • Uberarcade

    There is probably some truth to Capcom's statements although it still doesn't change the facts. A lot of the big game studio's don't have in house mobile teams. They buy up smaller companies or off shore the development because it is cheaper. They can't afford to run those same operations in house for cheap mobile games like they can for console titles. Still Capcom needs to watch what their mobile team is doing more closely or don't pass their software off as being from "Capcom".

  • pixpush

    Excuses. They should just pull it off the AppStore and enter an agreement with the original studio for iOS versions of it - if they'd be willing to.

  • TigerXtreme69

    "nah man you wouldn't. Well, maybe you would. Eating makes your tummy feel good." I think that might be my favorite toucharcade line ever. I actually googled it to see if it was a hip hop lyric or something. It's not, but it should be.

  • Godly

    Where have I heard this before? Aha. They "discovered it independently," like Newton vs. Liebniz on the Calculous.