Brandon Boyer

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And then this happened: none less than thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen notes that Toronto iPhone developer Ketara — whose mission statement contends they were founded as “an outlet for new, interesting ideas” — has just released Aquatica, a game that is nothing less than a direct copy of the original Flash implementation of Chen’s flOW, straight down to the peripheral sonar-like pings of its ascending/descending markers.

Chen told 1up that he had released the original Flash source to a number of people who emailed and asked for it, though Ketara have commented that “all the source code is completely, 100% written from scratch.”

But, at issue for Chen, apparently, is not necessarily one of code theft — telling 1up that an iPhone version was something he wanted to pursue himself, if its IP weren’t now tangled up with Sony — but rather the fact that Ketara make no mention of his or thatgamecompany’s name as at very least its inspiration:

I thought the creation of Aquatica is a very flattering thing because they mimic the game I created in the university and somewhat realized my dream for a flOw game on the iPhone. It could be a very sweet thing if they did this as a fan ware and put it out for free. But the fact they didn’t mention flOw at all and call it a ‘new, unique game completely in a class of its own’ is disappointing.

Ketara, for their part, contend:

What’s wrong with adapting a general idea of one game to the iPhone? No one had done this before, and we wanted to play it with tilt controls. In general, most games within each class are practically the same, just different graphics.

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