What’s In a Name? Developer Switches Game Title To Benefit From ‘You Must Build a Boat’ Release

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When Shakespeare famously wrote “What’s in a name" in Romeo and Juliet, he definitely didn’t think the answer was maybe more App downloads and more money. Luca Redwood, developer of hit game You Must Build a Boat ($2.99), tweeted today that developer One Waver AB changed the name of its game from Empire Era: Age of War to Empire Era: You Must Build a Kingdom just a week after You Must Build a Boat was released. Of course, the Empire Era game isn’t a threat to Redwood’s revenue as, I’m guessing, the games are quite distinct. And, perhaps, one could argue that the problematic nature of game discoverability on the App Store forces developers to do whatever they can to get their games to pop up in more player searches.

However, as Redwood’s follow-up tweet shows, there are much worse cases of “name cloning" on the App Store that do hurt developers, for instance the F2P clone Impossible Hexagon, of Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon ($2.99). As you can see in the tweet below, the F2P clone uses an almost identical title and then uses the word “Super" in the second half of the title to ensure that the game will pop up whenever someone searches for Super Hexagon. And let’s not forget that if someone not very familiar with mobile gaming sees a free and a paid version of seemingly the same game, he’ll probably go for the free one. Hopefully, Apple will start clamping down on phenomena like these, but I have a hunch that it won’t be happening any time soon.

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