Two questions. In an aging market flooded with similar content and creativity, is it really fair to suggest that Game A is a knock off, clone, or copy cat of Game B? And if so, does it really matter?




(Note: I say aging because the gaming market has been around for awhile now, so of course a fair amount of duplication should be expected)


Of course this discussion stems from all of the negative attention surrounding EA’s latest title, Dante's Inferno. Although I've heard and read a bit of chatter surrounding the game, I never really paid much attention to it as it’s not normally my cup of tea (or travel mug of Starbucks). The game finally got my attention when news was published that TV executives were upset over the trailer that was being proposed for the Super Bowl. Naturally, like any curious cat would do, I had to go poking around to see what those crazy gamers were up to this time. I must say, I was impressed with the clip. So much, that I'm strongly considering purchasing the game (Hah. Yes, I followed my game buying tips published in a previous blog). With renewed interest in all the published media regarding Dante's Inferno, I now read the bits and pieces I come across.


Almost without fail, every preview, review, critique and/or assessment of the game is critical of the similarities between it and God of War, to the point that one media journalist claimed downright plagiarism. Oddly enough, most agree it's an entertaining piece worthy of attention. Yet, the negativity surrounding the resemblance between the two games sure becomes evident in discussion.




For the record, I have never played God of War. So why would I care if Dante's Inferno is exactly like it. If one was good, then playing a knock off copy cat version should be good too, right?


Yes, it's true. I have never played God of War. I've seen it. I think it looks amazing. I've read great things about it. I know it often defines the industry standard for similarly styled games. So, in responding to my first question, I will concede it is fair to suggest that Dante's Inferno is a knock off of God of War.


So, next question. Does it really matter?


And the answer is, absolutely not.


This certainly is not the first time the gaming community has seen titles clone other titles. The Grand Theft Auto series comes to mind. I think Lego is going to copy everything under the sun, eventually. I remember when Valve released the cartoony joy that is Team Fortress 2 and the Dice folks assured us they had already been developing their own similar game the whole time.





Don’t even get me started on the Rock Band and Guitar Hero similarities. (Own both. Like both.)


Again I ask, does it really matter?


And the answer is still, absolutely not.


Follow my fuzzy logic in the scenario below and see why I say this doesn't matter.


Gamers thinking about buying Dante's Inferno fall into one of the below categories:

1. Gamers who have played God of War and liked it.

2. Gamers who have played God of War and did not like it.

3. Gamers who have never played God of War but heard it was good.

4. Gamers who have never played God of War and never heard of it.


Group 1: Have played and beat God of War. They should be happy that they're getting a new game that is very similar. They will already be familiar with the interface and features the new game has to offer.


Group 2: Having played God of War and sitting it aside because they didn't like it, they will know that there is a good chance they won't like the new game and save their hard earned dollars on something they will like.


Group 3: Having never played God of War but hearing it was good, they can decide to buy a game based on proven concepts with reasonable assurance that they are getting their money's worth.


Group 4: Gamers who never played or heard of God of War really don't matter much because they are either living under a rock or should not be considered real gamers anyway. Okay, I'm only kidding to see if you're still reading. If you've never played or heard of God of War, then guess what...Dante's Inferno is just like it.


Too easy.


Why are the gaming industry journalists making such a huge deal about the similarities between Game A and Game B? It makes me want to accuse them of writing knock off previews, reviews and articles – because everyone else out there is writing the same stories. (Do you know how many different tweets I received from various news entities about the Ghost Recon Future Solider release? I quit counting at 13. They all said the same thing.)


What's next...arguing whether Star Wars is a knock off of Star Trek.



I think we all know the answer to that...


Or that Modern Warfare 2 is a knock off of the original Wolfenstein (You know the one).


Knock off complaining about the knock offs. Serious. Knock it off.


DISCLAIMER: This blog is a knock off but may be read, copied, edited, deleted or ignored without the consent of the original author.