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Lugaru faces competition from itself on App Store

Edited as of Sat 12 Feb 2011 - 15:35
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Rabbit armorDevelopers of rabbit-based beat-em-up Lugaru HD are battling to get an unauthorized copy removed from the Apple App Store.

iCoder is offering the OS X game for just $1.99. The official verison sells for $9.99. [iDuck/Slashdot]

Gaming blog Kotaku reports that Apple are "looking into what happened", and also hosts a quote from iCoder saying that they "have every legal right to market and sell the software".

The game's code was released under the GPL last May while developers focussed on their new game, Overgrowth; however, for-profit distribution of the game's assets was not authorized. The legality of GPL-licensed code for such apps is also in doubt.

Update (12 Feb): Lugaru HD is now the only version available on the Apple App Store. Wolfire are giving out valid serials to all iCoder purchasers.


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The headline raises the question: Is the copy the same as the original? In bits it may be, but the "whole product" is a different entity.

Therefore I think it's misleading to say "Lugaru faces competition from itself"; rather say, "Lugaru faces competition from a pretender" or "...a controversial copy" or similar.

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Hmm . . . the game may have few tweaks, but the code seems like it'd be the "real deal", so not a pretender in that respect. There are some products like Furcadia which are also services, but there doesn't seem to be an ongoing service here, so it's not offering something different either. (Updates are also doubtful since they're working on a sequel.)

I also didn't consider it to be "pretending to be Lugaru" as I don't think a game changes when someone else sells it - or when they copy it, for that matter. After all, if the copy is the same, who is to say which is the "real" one? They both are.

That's why software piracy is so damaging. The biggest barrier to sales of Windows isn't Linux, it's Windows that they didn't get paid for. That's what I was trying to get at. (Though Microsoft spends a lot of time trying to convince people it's not "Genuine" anyway.)

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Hi, Green. I used jargon when I shouldn't have: "Whole product" includes matters outside whether the software itself (the "bits") is the same.

Identical software sold by different companies isn't identical from a "whole product" point of view. A pirated copy of Windows isn't the same as one bought from Microsoft, because it lacks several parts of the latter: The packaging, a support agreement, an assurance of quality, and so on.

People purchase for many reasons outside of the "core product" -- in this case, the software itself. A purchase from iCoder is not the same as a purchase from the original developers.

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Interesting! Well, the open-source code by itself wouldn't have been close to the whole product, which is probably one reason many older game engines have been open-sourced. The entire game, though, including assets . . . that's pretty close.

Quality-wise, the closer the copy, the less that's an issue. If the "same" game is on offer for $2, is the rest worth another $8?

Of course, purchasers might find that the game disappearing from their device, but I bet they'd get a $2 credit as well.

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I think this comment from a MacStories article should give better insight into the subject.

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Perhaps I'm missing something, but that site or story doesn't appear to have comments.

Edit: Never mind. Just Disqus going on the blink again. I can't understand why people outsource such an important feature.

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Outsourcing has it's advantages. Disqus is quite well spread these days I've noticed. When I first heard about it 2 years ago I barely ever came across one, but now I find when I visit a lot of sites now I'm already logged in to comment. :)

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Lugaru HD is now the only version available on the Apple App Store. Wolfire are giving out valid serials to all iCoder purchasers.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.