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Copycat Roblox game of WolfQuest

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:16 am
by tammyu
So, I just recently saw this game on Roblox that is basically the SAME EXACT game as WolfQuest and it's called 'Yellowstone'
I will delete this thread if this is off topic but I wanted to warn everyone to NOT buy the early access pass or to purchase anything from this Roblox game as it's a rip off Roblox version of WolfQuest.

not a vendetta, just don't fancy rip-offs making money off original game ideas.
You see, if your game is popular (as Yellowstone is) on Roblox, you can get monetized and earn money off it.

I feel like this is an illegal thing?

Please please please let me know if my banter is all for not, but I felt like it should be warned about.


(Roblox game link in case mods would like to check it out for themselves: https://www.roblox.com/games/2721393525 ... ellowstone)

Re: Copycat Roblox game of WolfQuest

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 9:52 am
by Frodo1
This is an area where copyright gets a little tricky, because when it comes down to it, WolfQuest isn't necessarily an "original" idea. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but strictly speaking, the premise of WolfQuest is "the life of a wolf in Yellowstone". No one can really own that premise, since it's just a concept. Legally, anyone can make a game around that premise, pretty much.

Original content is protected via copyright, but concepts are not. A good example of that is the semi-recent case of Pokemon Brick Bronze, a Pokemon fan game which was hosted on Roblox. Although Brick Bronze had some original elements, it also took quite a few from the actual Pokemon games-- including art and original ideas (i.e. the Pokemon themselves). Brick Bronze was shut down for copyright infringement and removed from Roblox. In the case of Brick Bronze, there was evident infringement, because original content was directly copied. However, there are an abundance of pokemon-like games throughout the internet that don't use any content from the Pokemon games themselves. They have their own types of creatures, original art, etc. Because they don't use any actual Pokemon content, they are not infringement-- they simply rely on the same base premise of "catching and battling creatures".

The exception to this would be if this game directly copied the WolfQuest code. That's why, for example, copying the WolfQuest game files and uploading them somewhere would be illegal-- because the codebase itself would be protected. But given that this game is made in Roblox, I seriously doubt that's what happened here.

Is it great that this developer made a game that basically copied WolfQuest? No, it's not. It's unimaginative at the least-- it seems highly likely that they were influenced by WolfQuest, and the least they could have done would be to change the setting. But is it legal? Most likely. And honestly, I don't know that it's even really wrong. They could have been more creative for sure, but they also put an awful lot of work into creating this game. There's nothing stopping them from creating a wolf game set in Yellowstone, and it seems that they did at least do a pretty good job of it (judging by the screenshots at least).

I also don't think they're much of a threat to WolfQuest. Given that the game is made through Roblox, they're going to be unable to share it on any of the platforms WolfQuest is on (Steam, itch.io, etc.), and although Roblox actually has some pretty cool games on it, they're all bound by some fairly severe graphical limitations, so it won't be able to compete with WolfQuest there either. So I doubt we have to worry too much about this game taking away interest from WolfQuest-- especially with WQ3 on the horizon.

It's definitely good to be careful though, and I appreciate your concern. Even though this turned out to be a mostly okay case, I'm thankful you brought it to our attention. Since this isn't quite a discussion about WolfQuest itself, I am going to move it to Other Video Games, though. Thank you for letting us know about this.

Re: Copycat Roblox game of WolfQuest

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:11 pm
by DaniBeez
I think your explanation of copyright here is very good Frodo1! I agree with you that this is not a threat to WQ--if anything, it could direct new people seeking a better experience to this game.

Cool find though tammyu!

Re: Copycat Roblox game of WolfQuest

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 8:59 pm
by Koa
People have used Roblox to reimagine or imitate other games on the Roblox platform for as long as it's been around. I remember playing and people were making maps inspired by the Warriors series. The difference between then and now is that it's a far more sophisticated platform than it used to be; it allows players to more intentionally design materials and utilize microtransactions for its games. Still, this "copycat" of WolfQuest is merely a Roblox iteration of the game, and I honestly think that's okay-- it doesn't appear any models, art, etc. were directly taken or used from WolfQuest in this Roblox version.