Statement on Magnetized

UPDATE: The unauthorized version of Magnetized was pulled from the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace today.

I had planned to do a review of Magnetized on Xbox Live Indie Games.  But, as it turns out, there’s some shenanigans going on with that.  People want me to say something about it for some reason, so here it is: not cool.

In a nutshell, a Taiwanese developer named Rocky Hong created a very fun browser game called Magnetized.  It appears a German developer put out an unauthorized port on XBLIG and also on Android, not for free but to make money, using the same name, graphics style, same levels, same physics, and very similar art assets.  This is not an example of a clone.  This is plagiarism.

The authentic logo by Rocky Hong is on the left. The unauthorized XBLIG port on the right. Mind you, Mr. Hong had plans to bring out more commercial ports of his game.

The authentic logo by Rocky Hong is on the left. The unauthorized XBLIG port on the right. Mind you, Mr. Hong had plans to bring out more commercial ports of his game.

I do highly recommend the free browser-based version of Magnetized, which you can play right here.  This isn’t a victimless act.  Free or not, the developer makes money off ad-support from the sites that host it, and had apps for mobile devices planned.

I’m really pissed off this happened because XBLIG is my community, and shit like this makes them look bad.  XBLIG is perhaps too unregulated, which is part of the price for having the first self-publishing platform in console gaming history.  But writers and gamers shouldn’t say this is yet another example of why Xbox Live Indie Games are bad for gaming.  The story of XBLIG to me is one of inspiration.  Of perseverance and creativity, with some of the most humble developers you could ever hope to encounter.  Don’t paint them in the same brush as the scum behind this fiasco.  This community is a small handful of bad apples among hundreds of hard-working class-acts.  Their games deserve your consideration.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to write a review about a game where you fling monkey shit at pedestrians.

Also, please don’t confuse this with Magnetic by Nature, two very different games.

Update – Indie Gamer Guy’s statement.

So, it seems we have a bit of controversy here in indie video game land: some unscrupulous XBLIG developer stole an idea from a flash game on Kongregate and ported it to XBLIG without even changing the name or title graphic. What silly, stupid bastards! That takes some big fucking brass balls, let me tell you.

Anyway, Cathy asked me to take a look at the flash (i.e. true) version of Magnetized that was developed by Rocky Hong. I must say is it a cool, little time waster that defines the term, “easy to learn but difficult to master.” This game would have been a sensation in the halcyon days of the Atari 2600 or the Intellivision for sure. Basically, you have a cube hurtling down a corridor with a powerful magnet posted somewhere along the corridor. It’s your task to use the magnet(with a simple click of your mouse) to coax the cube down the corridor, which will vary in length, width and curvature as the levels progress. There are also magnets of varying strengths and abilities as the levels progress, as well. I played until level 42 and I killed/smashed about 280 cubes, which took me about 20-25 minutes. As I said, it’s a neat little game that constantly has you saying, “Alright, just one more level…and then I’m done!”

Magnetized certainly deserves a look…and proper credit of course.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

8 Responses to Statement on Magnetized

  1. J-R says:

    ” XBLIG is perhaps too unregulated”

    Pretty much. In order to get your game approved, it has to have 8 votes by developers and of course you got shmoes that make a game in 5 minutes and want it approve as fast as possible, so they go around and play other people’s games for around 10 seconds and will pass it just so they can get a pass. This is against the rules but it appears not many people, or anyone for that matter, does anything about it except for me but all I can do is click the report link. I have no real power to deal with them.

    I hope X1 has more strict rules just like the PS4 will, but then again, I’m hoping that the Xbone will fail.

  2. Tim Hurley says:

    Wow. Just played through the demo this morning, and was considering a review myself. Brass balls indeed. In a perfect world, there’d be a special hell for people that steal from others.

    Having played the original (meaning ‘true’) version now, it’s far superior to the clone. Props to Rocky for creating a fun little game.

  3. Rocky Hong says:

    Thanks :’)
    I am Rocky Hong, developer of Magnetized game.
    Really thank you for write this article.
    Everybody spread this out!

  4. Sadly any kind of press coverage is likely to net the jerk more downloads than if no one said a word. However, the original dev, Rocky Hong ,does deserve some kind of recognition. In terms of justice, it’s doubtful anything can be done though. I’ve loved a bunch of the games that have come out through the service, but it’s a lawless wasteland at times.

    • I disagree. I think pretty much everyone universally detests cloning in the industry if they are aware the game is a clone. Spreading the word that a game is a clone is probably the best way to fight cloners. If you make it not profitable for them to make clones they will be less likely to do it. Anyway, I refuse to sit on my hands and let it just happen. Damn straight I’ll be telling anyone who will listen and will be rating the game one star.

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