Clones are a real is­sue for app de­vel­op­ers, and part of King’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for pro­tect­ing Candy Crush Saga, but they ex­ist in a le­gal grey area. Should the law be do­ing more? “That’s one of the great le­gal ques­tions in the game in­dus­try right now,” says Jas Pure­wal, “and opin­ion even among lawyers is as di­vided as it is among de­vel­op­ers. In prac­tice, quite a lot can be done legally to stop clones al­ready, and in sev­eral cases those abil­i­ties have been used… How­ever, le­gal claims can fal­ter in the face of de­ter­mined op­po­si­tion from a de­vel­oper or pub­lisher who wants to fight a claim of cloning. Stronger laws might even the bal­ance some­what but they are un­likely to be a suf­fi­cient de­ter­rent on their own.”

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