In South Korea, Everybody Cha Cha Cha is an incredibly popular social networking game for Android. The objective is to race cars and try to score points. It looks very similar to a racing game in the 2010 mini-game collection Everybody's Stress Buster. Make that looked.
Earlier this year, Sony cried foul and moved to end the Korean game's service. In the above video, compare Everybody's Stress Buster (top) and Everybody Cha Cha Cha (bottom). They're pretty darn similar -- something that did not escape Sony or Korean gamers. Everybody's Stress Buster was released in South Korea.
After Sony Computer Entertainment sent Netmarble, Everybody Cha Cha Cha's company, a notice this past January about the alleged plagiarism, Netmarble replied, "It's sad that a Japanese company is trying to use the popularity of Everybody Cha Cha Cha to its advantage."
During its first month after release, Everybody Cha Cha Cha racked up over 10 million downloads on Google Play in South Korea. The game, which is built on KakaoTalk, is a smash hit. (Interesting to note that it was directed by Won Sul Lee, who also helmed Crimson Gem Saga.)
Today, it was revealed that Sony won't be pursuing legal action against Netmarble for Everybody Cha Cha Cha. Since Sony began moving forward with its complaints, Netmarble actually changed Everybody Cha Cha Cha by adding new animations and a new camera angle. These additions apparently differentiate the two games.
A Sony spokesperson is quoted by This Is Game as saying, "We were concerned that any prolonged controversy such as this is not beneficial for both the local and the international mobile game development community. Internally, we decided not to pursue any legal action as long as no additional problems arise. Some may think it's because we've settled with Netmarble already, but we are simply choosing not to pursue legal action in a broader view/sense. This does not mean we have settled with Netmarble."
It does mean you can play Everybody Cha Cha Cha.
Translation by Sang Kwon.