Developer Says Chinese Company Stole His Entire Game Engine

There have been reports of Chinese developers ripping off browser games or smartphone games. Nothing new! This, however, is slightly different. Developer Dominic Szablewski says the game engine he developed (and sells) is being copied and sold in China.

The engine Szablewski created is Impact — it's a JavaScript Game Engine designed to create HTML games. The copied site is Kilofox — it looks exactly the same, but obviously, in Chinese.

Szablewski tells website Tech In Asia that he first noticed that someone in China was copying his engine earlier this summer. He tried to contact the individual who was apparently copying his engine, but got no response. Then, Szablewski tried emailing Kilofox's US-based hoster, Softlayer, but likewise, he apparently got no reply.

After registering an account on Kilofox "to look at the site a bit closer", Szablewski says that his site — the legit site — suffered a DOS attack.

Tech in Asia reached out to the individual who registered Kilofox (a man named Long Yang who either lives in Harbin or, perhaps, Beijing). To Tech in Asia's interview request, Long responded: "The website [kilofox.net] is mine, but the product is not mine. I don't think an interview is necessary."

Kilofox, it seems, is priced half of what Impact is, and it has zero after-sales support. Obviously, Szablewski says he doesn't see a penny of the Kilofox sales. According to the developer:

The bottom line is: I don't know how many sales I lost. Prior to all this, I sold about 3-6 licenses per month to Chinese customers. This has gone down to about 2 licenses per month, while sales for all other countries have gone up. With numbers this low, it's hard to say if it's a fluke or really a consequence of the Chinese clone.

Since kilofox.net went online, I received numerous emails from Chinese customers who were confused whether the site was legitimate. After I told them it was not, they expressed how disappointed and embarrassed they were that someone from their country stole my product.

For Szablewski, it's not just that his intellectual property seems to be at stake, but the reputation of the game engine in China — especially as he's unable to offer support and updates.

"I had some very happy customers from China and I would love to continue selling it in China," told Tech in Asia, "but honestly, stuff like that makes it hard for me to see China as a viable country to do business in."

Chinese 'Developer' Steals Game Engine, Sells it For Half Price


Comments

    Im seeing software being stolen by china more and more these days.

    im guessing their copyright laws just don't work or exist.

      EDIT: just had a look at the kilofox website, looks like its been stripped? there's just a grey top bar and nothing else.

      They exist it's just very very very veeeeerrry rarely enforced

      Hence the very many CN knock-offs.

      They only exist in China, for Chinese citizens.
      If your not a Chinese citizen and a company in China stole your work, give it up. The government will not prosecute one of their own for foreigners ever. Take the loss and hope it makes up the sales elsewhere, because no matter how much money you pour into the case, you will not win it

        Hear, hear. At some points this will change, unfortunately that time has not yet come.

        It's not just protectionism, there is almost no concept of intellectual 'property' in Chinese law and patents/copyrights are perceived as unfairly maintaining the status quo. Also, while China has the trappings of IP-protection, it's never enforced.

        "The government will not prosecute one of their own for foreigners ever."

        This is completely false. The Chinese government will throw any number of its citizens under the bus if they thought it expedient to avoid international scandal or wounded pride.

          "...in Chinese law and patents/copyrights are perceived as unfairly maintaining the status quo."
          It's kind of a shame that this isn't the case everywhere when it comes to really generic things, like say patenting a rectangle with rounded corners.

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