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Is it legally possible to make a clone of the game?

I was planning on producing a game but then I had to stall. I have an idea to make a game, but its very similar to a game already out there. If I made my own graphics, audio and use my own code, would I be allowed to sell it?


marked as duplicate by Ricket May 4 '11 at 23:15

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a legal question about intellectual property law and so not really on-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – chaos May 4 '11 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/11752/… \$\endgroup\$ – thedaian May 4 '11 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @chaos: I'm under the impression that whatever is of genuine interest to a games designer is on-topic here. Programming, maths and storytelling all get discussed here, but if we sorted by subject matter alone they could never be on topic. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 4 '11 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jonathan: Your standard of "whatever is of genuine interest to a games designer" is exactly what leads to boat programming. \$\endgroup\$ – user744 May 5 '11 at 9:46


Gameplay ideas themselves cannot be copyrighted. If you need any evidence of this, just look at the wrath of clones of any specific popular game, such as Call of Duty or World of Warcraft, available on the market. You cannot use any of the original content, however, unless it's independent- for example, just because CoD uses an AK-47 doesn't stop you from using it, but because WoW has a race called the Night Elves pretty much does preclude you from doing something identical.

The general rule is that if the gameplay happens to be similar to an existing game at the end, then that's one thing, but if it's a straight rip of another game from the start, then you're not going to win many fans and may end up in court.


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