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How to Survive: 505 Games accused of ‘blatant theft’ of indie dev’s game

Sunday, 27th October 2013 22:57 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The team behind indie survival sim Roam has accused 505 Games of ‘blatant theft’ of its product, producing an alleged offer of publication pre-dating the announcement of How to Survive, which it claims bears uncanny similarities.

In a Kickstarter update, creator Ryan Sharr described himself as acting as a “whistleblower”, alleging Roam and How to Survive have comparable gameplay mechanics and “a shockingly similar art style”.

Additionally, the developer published in full an email alleged to have been sent by a senior producer at 505 Games extending an offer of publication, which it claims is “not a coincidence”.

“This particular theft is blatant and 505 Games took advantage of the situation knowing full well what they were doing. This shows how much respect they have towards the industry and their fans,” Sharr said.

“It is rare that a company will contact an indie developer to offer a publishing deal and when it’s refused hire another company to deliberately rip off the game idea and design to the core.”

Inviting backers to compare Roam’s prototype video with How to Survive footage, the developer expressed frustration with the risks of putting design ideas up for public consumption in a bid to secure crowdfunding – only to see those ideas appear elsewhere.

“I do not want the stigma that Roam is associated with How to Survive and I certainly don’t want people to think Roam has stolen anything from How to Survive,” Sharr concluded. He is yet to decide on a course of action.

How to Survive launched last week. We’ve contacted local PR agents for 505 Games with a request for comment, but aren’t expecting a reply until European business hours on Monday at the earliest.

Roam was successfully crowdfunded in early 2013, securing $102,518 – well over its $40,000 goal. Primary creator Ryan Sharr is a former member of Gas Powered Games.

Thanks, FabioPal.

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7 Comments

  1. absolutezero

    Would not put it past 505 what so ever and looking at the various reviews and video features released about How to Survive it does not seem like they even managed to do a good job of ripping off Roam in the first place.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. pcbros

    I hate injustice! Too bad it’s hard to copyright and protect games. It’s to easy to change little things here and there and have a “different” game.

    I’m glad VG247 published this article!

    #2 11 months ago
  3. UberJumper

    Except here is gameplay footage from 2012, before ROAM was even announced:

    http://raphaelbouchaud.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/monster-island/

    Source Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/1pblqp/how_to_steal_roams_creators_worry_that_their_game/cd11fhg

    #3 11 months ago
  4. FabioPal

    You’re very welcome vg247! :)

    #4 11 months ago
  5. FabioPal

    They released this update as well:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roam/roam/posts/642689?ref=activity

    #5 11 months ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @3: Yep, looks like the ROAM dev shot himself in the foot on this one.

    @5: “We decided to just move on from this. No we will not be pursuing legal action or anything of that sort.”

    Lawl, yeah that’s much healthier for you.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Elvis71

    It was also on Gamescom in 2012 ^^

    At Page 9 Ekosoftware & How to Survive is mentioned …

    https://apps.ubifrance.fr/BlogBO/medias/document/katalog-gamescom_25_7_2012_33_54.pdf

    #7 11 months ago

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