Wolfire Throws a Lifeline to Counterfeit Lugaru Customers

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Wolfire Throws a Lifeline to Counterfeit Lugaru Customers

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The counterfeit version of Lugaru that turned up on the App Store earlier this month has finally been removed and Wolfire, the indie studio behind the original game, is taking extraordinary steps to compensate everyone who bought it.

In early February we heard about a counterfeit version of Lugaru, Wolfire's third-person bunnyrabbit fighting game, that had appeared on the App Store just a couple of weeks behind the original and entirely without Wolfire's knowledge. Lugaru HD, the real thing, sells for $9.99, while the knockoff listed for only 99 cents. The company that "created" the counterfeit defended its "legal right to sell and market" the game because Wolfire released the Lugaru source code after it its inclusion in the original Humble Indie Bundle.

Wolfire naturally disputed that point but Apple had already approved the game and let it stay on the store for over a week, where it climbed to number 60 on the games chart and presumably cost Wolfire some sales. It was finally removed a couple of days ago; Alex Matlin of iCoder told Kotaku that "the application was removed from sale by the development team, it was not pulled by Apple," although Wolfire President Jeffrey Rosen wrote on the Wolfire Games Blog that the studio still hadn't heard a peep from Apple and wasn't sure what had actually happened.

Regardless of the specifics, Wolfire is handling the situation with what can only be described as an extreme amount of class. "We don't think that the customers should be punished for buying the fake version -- they probably just assumed that all the games in the App Store are legitimate. We would have assumed the same thing until last week!" Rosen wrote. "If you accidentally purchased the fake Lugaru, you can forward your receipt to [email protected] and we will give you an authentic version of Lugaru HD, as well as a bonus Steam key for your trouble."

Is that awesome or what? Wolfire is going way above and beyond the call of duty and I think it deserves some major credit for its crazy customer service. Well played, gentlemen. Well played indeed.

via: GamePolitics

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They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

That's the Valve attitude! Gabe would be proud of you... if you brought him some chicken wings.

That's one of the games from the bundles I never got around to installing/playing.

Glad to see they're staying classy about it. Not that there was really any other route to take.

Now that's old school. Reminds me of back when companies tried to care for their customers and build trust.
Well, well done, everybody. I'm proud of you. That kind of bebaviour is what makes the world a better place.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

So if it costs too much you're allowed to pirate it?
Since they have no pubblisher, and have to depend on the sells of their products to go on, they have to fix the price at that bar.
You may dislike the price, but that's their choice.
And no modification can justify selling their game with almost the same name. Really.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

If you are putting up an illegit version I don't think you are beyond lying about features to get a few extra sales, also imo it is definitely worth 10 dollars.

I think I like these guys.

Onyx Oblivion:
Glad to see they're staying classy about it. Not that there was really any other route to take.

Well, there is the "REMOVE THE GAME. Refunds? Hahahahaha, you so funny. Suck it." way.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

Take it you might be a bit sore over missing the Humble Indie Bumble then?

And personally im on the dole but £5/$9 quid isnt that far out of the price i'd assume for a game like it.

From Reading a couple of posts on the Wolfire Forums, seems it didnt have much at all changed was almost a complete rip of the orginal.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

Wow, who died and made you the arbiter of what games are worth?

So let me get this straight, some asshole steals his code, sells it for cheaper and costs Wolfire a shitload of sales.

So Wolfire's response is to offer everyone who bought the stolen version a real copy for free?

Holy shit, this is insane, I might buy a copy just to support his behavior.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

Are you serious?

First of all, they should be allowed to charge what they want, let the market decide if it's worth it.

Secondly, your use of the quotation marks around the words "legitimate" and "fake" makes it seem like you think the fake version is legitimate because of the price that you consider fair and the "small modifications"

Let me see if I can come up for an analogy for how crazy I think that is.

All right, I got one.

Let's say your car was worth $30,000.

I stole it and added a bitchin' spoiler (small modification) and then sold the STOLEN car for $5000.

It's basically the same scenario, guy steals something, adds a tiny enhancement to it and sells it for cheaper, does it still warrant the arrogant air-quotes around the word fake?

Then, in ADDITION to all the shit this caused Wolfire, he is giving everyone who bought the fake copy that hurt his sales (for which he was totally not responsible for and the real victim of) a real copy for free, something that doesn't benefit him at all.

And all you do is post about how he was charging too much and question the terms "fake" and "legitamate"?

that's shameful dude.

Double post

(the IT crew really needs to look into this, I press the post button and the post doesn't show up in the thread, I refresh the page FIVE EFFING TIMES and it STILL doesn't show up. I try to post it again, and BAM instantaneously the original shows up along with the new one, as if the forums are fucking trolling me)

I like this company. I have bought both indie bundles, and I love them for those bundles. This just makes them more awesome.

danpascooch:
So let me get this straight, some asshole steals his code, sells it for cheaper and costs Wolfire a shitload of sales.

So Wolfire's response is to offer everyone who bought the stolen version a real copy for free?

Holy shit, this is insane, I might buy a copy just to support his behavior.

No, the code wasn't stolen. The code was given away for free. The *assets* were stolen (art, sound, music, text).

If they'd released a game exactly like Lugaru, but with different characters and audio, it would be a legal move, if dickish.

Jesus-motherfucking-Christ, Wolfire!

That's a developer with class right there. Makes me feel good about already owning the Steam version of Lugaru HD, if only because I gave these guys some money.

Woah.

My Wolfire respect-o-meter just asploded.

Smooth moves Wolfire.

I may buy a second copy of this game.

Well, played Wolfire, well played.

That's some really smart situation-handling from Wolfire! Props!

Hopefully Wolffire will still get some just compensation from the punks who decided to resell their product.

stranamente:
So if it costs too much you're allowed to pirate it?

Did I say that? I got the game in the indie humble bundle - to me it's not worth the money and I wouldn't have bought the game. I don't pirate games.

Since they have no pubblisher, and have to depend on the sells of their products to go on, they have to fix the price at that bar.

I'm aware of the indie self-publishing system but they don't have to set the price at that bar at all - especially when you considor they're already recieiving a number of pre-orders for what is pretty much the sequel [and seemingingly far superior] game, "Overgrowth".

You may dislike the price, but that's their choice.

And it's my choice to criticize their choice of price.

And no modification can justify selling their game with almost the same name. Really.

I don't think I said it could be justified - though I like the fact that's the second time you've deliberately mis-interpreted what I said...

---

Bobzer77:
If you are putting up an illegit version I don't think you are beyond lying about features to get a few extra sales, also imo it is definitely worth 10 dollars.

I'm simply quoting what was stated, as a fact, on a Kotaku news post about this issue a few days ago.

---

Andy Chalk:
Wow, who died and made you the arbiter of what games are worth?

I'm entitled to an opinion as much as you are, and in my opinion the price is far to high.

---

danpascooch:
Are you serious?

Depends which part of my post you're talking about - I made about 3 different statements.

First of all, they should be allowed to charge what they want, let the market decide if it's worth it.

I'm part of the market, and thus am entitled to claim I feel the price is to high - I really don't see the issue with this comment...

Secondly, your use of the quotation marks around the words "legitimate" and "fake" makes it seem like you think the fake version is legitimate because of the price that you consider fair and the "small modifications"

Quotation marks can be used, like italics to put emphasis on the specifics you're discussing. You're reading to much into this.

Let me see if I can come up for an analogy for how crazy I think that is.

This should be fun...

All right, I got one.

Let's say your car was worth $30,000.

Sweet, I get a new car?

I stole it and added a bitchin' spoiler (small modification) and then sold the STOLEN car for $5000.

That's not very good business sense now is it, my new car, according to the arbitrary value you've decided, was now worth over $30,000. But then again this analogy isn't very good when you consider the two items were on the same store simultaneously - you can't compare real world theft to this type of crime because nothing of physical value was lost beyond funds to the true developers.

It's basically the same scenario,

No, it isn't...a better analogy would be selling pirated versions of games.

guy steals something, adds a tiny enhancement to it and sells it for cheaper, does it still warrant the arrogant air-quotes around the word fake?

See above.

Then, in ADDITION to all the shit this caused Wolfire, he

Just thought I'd let you know Wolfire is an actual company name, it's more than one person.

is giving everyone who bought the fake copy that hurt his sales (for which he was totally not responsible for and the real victim of) a real copy for free, something that doesn't benefit him at all.

Of course it benefits them, they get publicity like this article, happy customers and a bigger user-base playing their game on Steam - where all their Steam friends can also see them playing their game.

And all you do is post about how he was charging too much

I stand by that statement.

and question the terms "fake" and "legitamate"?

Now that's just slander...

that's shameful dude.

You stole my car and managed to make a potential net loss and you're calling me shameful?

---

Ruairi iliffe:
Take it you might be a bit sore over missing the Humble Indie Bumble then?

I got the Humble indie bundle the day it was released, in fact as stated above that's the only reason I would've considered getting the game.

And personally im on the dole but £5/$9 quid isnt that far out of the price i'd assume for a game like it.

That's fair enough, I disagree but that's your interpretation of a games value and you have the right to state it.

From Reading a couple of posts on the Wolfire Forums, seems it didnt have much at all changed was almost a complete rip of the orginal.

Kotaku appears to disagree, though for the most part it defiantly used identical art assets and the source code from the original game, the art assets and name "Lugaru" being the copyrighted assets. Thus making the "fake" game illegal.

---

I think the majority either mis-interpreted what I was saying, or took the comments to seriously...I'm entitled to an opinion.

D_987:

Secondly, your use of the quotation marks around the words "legitimate" and "fake" makes it seem like you think the fake version is legitimate because of the price that you consider fair and the "small modifications"

Quotation marks can be used, like italics to put emphasis on the specifics you're discussing. You're reading to much into this.

Sometimes they are used that way, but it's not correct. Or at least, there are many people who don't use quotation marks that way and will therefore misunderstand you. Like danpascooch did. If you want to emphasise a word, it's better to use italics.

EmeraldGreen:
Sometimes they are used that way, but it's not correct. Or at least, there are many people who don't use quotation marks that way and will therefore misunderstand you. Like danpascooch did. If you want to emphasise a word, it's better to use italics.

It's incorrect sure, but it looks better than italics and ultimately has the same effect - the usage is also becoming more common-place. The context of the quotes should have been adequate for people to understand the underline point of the comment; semantics shouldn't be important.

RvLeshrac:

danpascooch:
So let me get this straight, some asshole steals his code, sells it for cheaper and costs Wolfire a shitload of sales.

So Wolfire's response is to offer everyone who bought the stolen version a real copy for free?

Holy shit, this is insane, I might buy a copy just to support his behavior.

No, the code wasn't stolen. The code was given away for free. The *assets* were stolen (art, sound, music, text).

If they'd released a game exactly like Lugaru, but with different characters and audio, it would be a legal move, if dickish.

The code was published, not given away, there is a difference.

Without specifically stating that your code is free to use for any purpose (which he did not do) means he holds full copyright of his creation.

Just because it was published doesn't mean it wasn't stolen, that's like saying it's not stealing to take someone's cell phone if it's "just sitting on that table in full view of everyone"

D_987:

stranamente:
So if it costs too much you're allowed to pirate it?

Did I say that? I got the game in the indie humble bundle - to me it's not worth the money and I wouldn't have bought the game. I don't pirate games.

Since they have no pubblisher, and have to depend on the sells of their products to go on, they have to fix the price at that bar.

I'm aware of the indie self-publishing system but they don't have to set the price at that bar at all - especially when you considor they're already recieiving a number of pre-orders for what is pretty much the sequel [and seemingingly far superior] game, "Overgrowth".

You may dislike the price, but that's their choice.

And it's my choice to criticize their choice of price.

And no modification can justify selling their game with almost the same name. Really.

I don't think I said it could be justified - though I like the fact that's the second time you've deliberately mis-interpreted what I said...

---

Bobzer77:
If you are putting up an illegit version I don't think you are beyond lying about features to get a few extra sales, also imo it is definitely worth 10 dollars.

I'm simply quoting what was stated, as a fact, on a Kotaku news post about this issue a few days ago.

---

Andy Chalk:
Wow, who died and made you the arbiter of what games are worth?

I'm entitled to an opinion as much as you are, and in my opinion the price is far to high.

---

danpascooch:
Are you serious?

Depends which part of my post you're talking about - I made about 3 different statements.

First of all, they should be allowed to charge what they want, let the market decide if it's worth it.

I'm part of the market, and thus am entitled to claim I feel the price is to high - I really don't see the issue with this comment...

Secondly, your use of the quotation marks around the words "legitimate" and "fake" makes it seem like you think the fake version is legitimate because of the price that you consider fair and the "small modifications"

Quotation marks can be used, like italics to put emphasis on the specifics you're discussing. You're reading to much into this.

Let me see if I can come up for an analogy for how crazy I think that is.

This should be fun...

All right, I got one.

Let's say your car was worth $30,000.

Sweet, I get a new car?

I stole it and added a bitchin' spoiler (small modification) and then sold the STOLEN car for $5000.

That's not very good business sense now is it, my new car, according to the arbitrary value you've decided, was now worth over $30,000. But then again this analogy isn't very good when you consider the two items were on the same store simultaneously - you can't compare real world theft to this type of crime because nothing of physical value was lost beyond funds to the true developers.

It's basically the same scenario,

No, it isn't...a better analogy would be selling pirated versions of games.

guy steals something, adds a tiny enhancement to it and sells it for cheaper, does it still warrant the arrogant air-quotes around the word fake?

See above.

Then, in ADDITION to all the shit this caused Wolfire, he

Just thought I'd let you know Wolfire is an actual company name, it's more than one person.

is giving everyone who bought the fake copy that hurt his sales (for which he was totally not responsible for and the real victim of) a real copy for free, something that doesn't benefit him at all.

Of course it benefits them, they get publicity like this article, happy customers and a bigger user-base playing their game on Steam - where all their Steam friends can also see them playing their game.

And all you do is post about how he was charging too much

I stand by that statement.

and question the terms "fake" and "legitamate"?

Now that's just slander...

that's shameful dude.

You stole my car and managed to make a potential net loss and you're calling me shameful?

---

Ruairi iliffe:
Take it you might be a bit sore over missing the Humble Indie Bumble then?

I got the Humble indie bundle the day it was released, in fact as stated above that's the only reason I would've considered getting the game.

And personally im on the dole but £5/$9 quid isnt that far out of the price i'd assume for a game like it.

That's fair enough, I disagree but that's your interpretation of a games value and you have the right to state it.

From Reading a couple of posts on the Wolfire Forums, seems it didnt have much at all changed was almost a complete rip of the orginal.

Kotaku appears to disagree, though for the most part it defiantly used identical art assets and the source code from the original game, the art assets and name "Lugaru" being the copyrighted assets. Thus making the "fake" game illegal.

---

I think the majority either mis-interpreted what I was saying, or took the comments to seriously...I'm entitled to an opinion.

You're saying the analogy is bad because it doesn't match the situation exactly? Perhaps you should look up what an analogy is, it's a comparison to a similar scenario in order to make a point, it's not the exact same scenario, otherwise it would be a restatement not an analogy. The lower price of selling was appropriate because that is what happened in the situation with this software. It doesn't matter if the item is physical or not, theft resulting in lost money is theft resulting in lost money, does it really matter how many (if any) physical items are involved? Money is money.

My point being that regardless of price, it's not alright to steal something, enhance it a bit, and sell it for less, the use of punctuation and quotation marks in your post combined with the general malice toward the original developer was a clear implication that you felt people were being screwed over by the developer and that the fake version didn't deserve the criticism it was getting.

Italics are emphasis, CAPITAL WORDS or phrases (such as that one) are emphasis, bolded statements are emphasis, quotation marks are not emphasis, if there was a misunderstanding here it was because of your poor use of punctuation, although I'm honestly not sure if you screwed up your punctuation or you are backpedaling and claiming misinterpretation because of the overwhelming negative feedback to your arrogance.

I think it's the latter, but I can't say for sure.

Anyway, you saying "I have the right to _______" is totally irrelevant, of course you have that right. Nobody is coming into your house and trying to take your keyboard away or silence you, we are just all saying we think your opinion is ass-backwards, nobody is violating your "rights" so stop acting like you're defending your right to free speech or something, you're just trying to deflect warranted criticism of a flawed viewpoint. If you think your opinion was warranted, defend it with evidence and interpretation, rights don't come into play here unless someone tries to violate them and nobody has violated anyone's rights. We're just talking here, so that defense isn't going to cut it.

It's interesting how you think it's valid to talk about how you have rights just because people disagree with you. Is disagreeing with you violating your rights? I hope that's not what your implying, god I hope not.

Awesome job Wolfire it's good to see that you guys are looking out for the good name of your products without resorting to Sony style action.

D_987:

EmeraldGreen:
Sometimes they are used that way, but it's not correct. Or at least, there are many people who don't use quotation marks that way and will therefore misunderstand you. Like danpascooch did. If you want to emphasise a word, it's better to use italics.

It's incorrect sure, but it looks better than italics and ultimately has the same effect - the usage is also becoming more common-place. The context of the quotes should have been adequate for people to understand the underline point of the comment; semantics shouldn't be important.

In some cases it's unambiguous, but I don't think your post is one of those cases, sorry. I don't see any indication in your post that the quotation marks are meant as emphasis rather than scare quotes. And the use of quotation marks for emphasis is still rare enough than in an ambiguous case, people will tend to read them as scare quotes by default.

(Also: totally subjective, but quotation marks for emphasis don't look better to me. To me, they look a bit silly - I can't help wondering what The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks what have to say about them...)

Wolfire is awesome. I loved them all the way since the first HIB, and they just continue to impress. They shave their beards, put out awesome games and are surprisingly adept at being a publisher despite their small size (like 4 or 5 people ?)

Strange world we live in where the small guys like Wolfire have better PR and promotion than the big publishers in the game.

Nice attitude there from Wolfire, if anyone should have been charged for giving the originals to the people who purchased the fake ones, in my mind it should have been apple. But then they have shareholders that need feeding, so that would never happen.

And I must say Im very impressed with how Overgrowth is coming along. Now if only they would discuss the possible licensing fee of the engine I´d be a happy camper :)

As someone who has pre-ordered Overgrowth, and have the Alpha sitting on my PC, I have to say Wolfire is awesome. I haven't touched Lugaru HD, but I plan to some day. (SOME DAY!)

For those of you who don't know; you can pre-order Overgrowth, and gain access to weekly alpha builds of the game which pretty much works like a really neat level editor. It lets you import your own assets into the game and modify the animations. And if you really want to have fun, you can just hop in and mess about with rabbit fights. Fun stuff.

D_987:
They deserve credit for their customer service yes, but not for charging $9.99 for Lugaru HD...the game is worth about half that at the most. Though what are the differences between the two versions, I'm pretty sure I read the "fake" version had some small modifications to help the game run better - has this "legitimate" version also been edited?

If you dont think its worth the 9.99 thats entirely up to you. Have you got any idea what apple charges per purchase of the game when on their store? (Not a trick question, I actually have no idea) Was just wondering if thats not a part of the pricing aswell.

Reliq:
If you dont think its worth the 9.99 thats entirely up to you. Have you got any idea what apple charges per purchase of the game when on their store? (Not a trick question, I actually have no idea) Was just wondering if thats not a part of the pricing aswell.

I think Apple take something between 10 - 30% from each sale of the game - though I just seem to remember reading that I have no evidence to support it; but my point on the pricing isn't so much based on the platform, but the fact the game just isn't that good and hasn't much substantial content to charge that amount - it's a game that gets repetitive after a few minutes of play.

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