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Oh. Em. Gee.
August 28, 2009 12:26 AM   Subscribe

OMGpop is potentially all your Flash Fun Fridays come at once. Clones of addictive classic multiplayer games like Bomberman, Pictionary, Tetris, even Mario Kart and Guitar Hero - plus a whole lot more, all wrapped up in an extremely slick interface with an added dash of chat and social networking features. Not yet out of beta, the hype is certainly extensive, but is the business model sound?

My first FPP! 8-D
posted by TheTorns (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
If it were possible to determine if a business model was sound before hand, we wouldn't need startups.
posted by delmoi at 12:40 AM on August 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


If there were only a way to create groups - it'd be pretty sweet to have a MeFi group to spar with.
posted by Dysk at 2:09 AM on August 28, 2009


I sort of like it when some bod in a garage converts a favourite game to flash and it gets posted on the web.

But this is a superslick operation (probably VC funded) that seems to have a business model based on ripping off popular games for profit. I'm not so impressed.

It appears that in my weirdly hypocritical head, violating copyright for my pleasure is OK, but violating copyright for money is not.
posted by seanyboy at 2:45 AM on August 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, it's not necessarily the case that you can copyright entire game ideas.
posted by delmoi at 3:14 AM on August 28, 2009


This site is fantastically designed (and sneaky) in the usability sense.

Being able to jump right in and play without even setting a screen name gets you in so you can figure out it doesn't suck in the least amount of time. Nice.

Then they hit you up for a screen name.

Then after a few plays they hit you up to create an account. :)

Seems like a nice balance between not requiring a sign-in ever and requiring one immediately. I wish more sites would do it so that I don't have to guess if I'm wasting my time (or sign up to later discover I'm wasting my time).
posted by ianbanks at 3:18 AM on August 28, 2009


Ahh! Once you sign up the GoDaddy'ing begins!

"OK". Oops. "Close".
"Skip".
"Skip".
"Skip".
posted by ianbanks at 3:20 AM on August 28, 2009


Yeah, slick. But the second I saw the fucking people PLAYING NOW on the right side of the thing, I realized that I'd rather punch each and every one of 'em square in the face than play a game with them, and went to get myself another beer, then reloaded the shotgun just in case those fucking kids get on to my lawn again somehow. Now that's a goddamn game boy howdy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 AM on August 28, 2009


It appears that in my weirdly hypocritical head, violating copyright for my pleasure is OK, but violating copyright for money is not.

You know, that's not too far off from how I feel. Well put.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:21 AM on August 28, 2009


I'll stick with Kongregate.
posted by GavinR at 4:26 AM on August 28, 2009


...but they're not violating copyright. If they're violating anything, it'd be (nebulous) software patents, which are a whole nother beast.
posted by Dysk at 4:38 AM on August 28, 2009


copyright's the wrong word. Look and feel, play dynamics, intellectual property...
I don't really know how to say it.
But basically, they're making games that thrive on the success of games made by other people.
posted by seanyboy at 4:48 AM on August 28, 2009


* and thrive is the wrong word too.
Maybe rely ort hinge...

(Where is my god damned, word brain word remembering thing today.)
posted by seanyboy at 4:49 AM on August 28, 2009


seanyboy, they are (primarily) recreations of games that no longer have much commercial potential - Tetris, Mario Kart (the original game, not the franchise), Puzzle Bobble, and so on. Pretty much all of these have been remade countless times already anyway, both for profit and not.

(...and in case anyone challenges me to come up with a commercial Mario Kart ripoff, I give you Wacky Wheels)
posted by Dysk at 5:06 AM on August 28, 2009


...but they're not violating copyright. If they're violating anything, it'd be (nebulous) software patents, which are a whole nother beast.

My first thought was that the Tetris clone was close enough that they would get sued over it, and it appears that they are. The games industry has a long history of clones and ripoffs, which come in various flavors:

1. Using a very similar name (as in Wordtris).
2. Using the same game mechanic (as in falling blocks).
3. Making a game that is functionally equivalent with only very minor changes (as in the OMGpop example).

Normally 1 and 3 are the ones that end up generating lawsuits. 2 is generally considered okay, and in my opinion helps genres grow as developers take good ideas and expand upon them. There are specific cases (notably ghost mode in racing games) where actual gameplay mechanics are off-limits, and to me those seem to have a chilling effect on the industry because less games are able to explore new ways of using those mechanics.

they are (primarily) recreations of games that no longer have much commercial potential - Tetris

An official version of Tetris has been released for pretty much every popular console and handheld gaming system ever (except in cases where certain systems had exclusive rights to the game), and they are still making a profit off of releasing it more or less unchanged on platforms like the iPod and Xbox Live Arcade.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:20 AM on August 28, 2009


burnmp3s, I did not know that, since I play all my games on PC. That being said, there are at least a half dozen direct tetris clones for Windows, Mac, and Linux that haven't been shut down so far as I'm aware, nevermind the number of flash and java implementations kicking about. I thought they'd stopped enforcing that copyright, and had given up the hope of trying to sell it still on PC.

...but if they are getting sued, then I must be wrong.
posted by Dysk at 5:36 AM on August 28, 2009


If there were only a way to create groups - it'd be pretty sweet to have a MeFi group to spar with.
posted by Brother Dysk at 2:09 AM on August 28


One can create chatrooms, and make them private (or at least keep them from showing up in the room list). I'm heading to bed - but if someone else wants to make a room simply called "metafilter" and idle in it to keep it open then I'll certainly visit when I wake up!
posted by TheTorns at 5:45 AM on August 28, 2009


man, this is the second time this week that that site has crept back onto my radar, at least since it changed from the original iminlikewithyou.com. the social games they had initially were more fun (not the current arcade of knockoffs), but then i think it was also aimed at an older crowd.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:09 AM on August 28, 2009


Ball Racer is basically a Unirally clone, which makes this the greatest site ever in my opinion.
posted by Magnakai at 9:14 AM on August 28, 2009


The ability to disrupt other people's games is pretty awesome, and absent from my normal solitary Tetrising.
posted by catlet at 12:01 PM on August 28, 2009


the bomberman clone is crappy. (I played Atomic Bomberman back in the day, and I hold that up as the standard by which all other bombermans should be judged.)
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 6:50 PM on August 28, 2009


Uhh, there will be lawsuits wherever there is sufficient chance of someone else making money, or sour grapes (because of a clueless corporation's failure to make money poorly recycling an old idea)

Hasbro sued a bunch of indie game developers back in 2000 and did not make nice.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:21 PM on August 28, 2009


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