Candy Crush Saga maker and game publisher King has yanked the game Pac-Avoid from its portal after it was revealed on Friday that the company had allegedly hired developer Epic Shadow to quickly clone Matthew Cox's Scamperghost. On Friday Cox claimed that Epic Shadow was hired by King to clone his game because negotiations to bring it to the company's catalog had fallen through. Today Matt Porter, the Epic Shadow developer who created the game for King, says that he was lied to and – with his game being taken down – he feels like King has thrown him under the bus.
"Lars [Jornow, King representative] messaged us and asked us if we wanted a small job," wrote Porter on his blog. "He then told us that he was working with another developer to secure a sponsorship for the game Scamper Ghost and that the developer had backed out of the deal."
"King wasn’t too pleased with that," he continued, "and so Lars requested that we clone the game for them. I had a good working relationship with King then and was quite upset that someone would break the FGL [FlashGameLicense] terms and conditions. I initially thought the job was a little immoral, and a bit sketchy, but we had worked with King before, talked regularly, and Lars made these other developers seem like some really unprofessional jerks."
Porter goes on to say that King charged his company with building the game as quickly as possible so as to beat "the other game" to market. Porter emphasized in his blog post that he never stole any assets from the game he was hired to clone and that it was built from "scratch."
Porter wrote his post because he is upset that King seems to be blaming him and his company for cloning the game, when he claims it was their idea in the first place. King claimed in a statement last week that, "before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP. However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game – which was coded by a third-party developer 5 years ago – is being taken down."
But clearly Porter thinks they are not being honest in this case:
"I'm quite irked that King has the nerve to blatantly lie and shift the blame to me," he wrote. "Based on their response to the recent allegations, I now know that the company is both deceitful and hypocritical."
On a related note King has apologized for the cloning incident but has not backed down from its fight against Banner Saga creator Stoic over their application for a trademark. The company says that it opposes the application because it would cause "brand confusion" with its games that carry the "Saga" name. Oddly enough, they forgot about older games like Saga Frontier, which used it first…