Back in Blek
It’s one thing when fairly generic games get ripped off, but when you’ve worked on something unique, like minimalist live calligraphy puzzler Blek, you might feel a bit miffed – especially when the clone is literally called Cloned Blek.
“I don’t recall my first reaction, but I probably laughed, because it is actually funny… kind of…”, mulls Blek creator Denis Mikan. “But all Blek clones so far have been comparatively awful, and we do get emails and complaints from people who’ve played one and apparently somehow think we are responsible for the fact they bought the wrong game”.
Mikan says while he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about app fakers, he’s “ready to take legal action if necessary”, and he has reported rip-offs to Apple: “Cloned Blek’s name was changed, and I’ve reported other games that violated our IP rights – icons, descriptions, screen grabs, and so on”.
As for Apple’s review process, Mikan says, “[Apple] can’t be held responsible for things like distinguishing between original and cloned content”, because it’s hard to define what’s crossing the line. “But there are cases where Apple should react, and Cloned Blek was one of them”.