[UPDATE: Since this story went live Ridiculous Fishing creator Vlambeer has responded to Pocket Gamer's request for information concerning Gamenauts's revenue share offer. The full text of the email is included at the bottom of this post.]
Last week, a casual game called Ninja Fishing hit the App Store. What developer Gamenauts neglected to mention at the time - and several sites, including Pocket Gamer, initially failed to realise - is that Ninja Fishing is a clone of indie developer Vlambeer's Radical Fishing.
According to Vlambeer, the release of Gamenauts's Ninja Fishing - a game inspired by Flash hit Radical Fishing - came as a complete surprise.
However, that's not the case according to Triple Point PR, who contacted Pocket Gamer on Gamenauts's behalf.
"Gamenauts confirmed that Ninja Fishing is inspired by Radical Fishing. Because of that, they offered credits and revenue share to Vlambeer. Vlambeer however, passed on the opportunity.
"Gamenauts also confirmed that when it announced Ninja Fishing, it was unaware that Vlambeer was planning an iOS port of Radical Fishing, Ridiculous Fishing.
"Hope that clears things up a bit for you. I am here to help if you have any more questions or concerns."
We've contacted Vlambeer to verify Gamenauts's claim, but so far we haven't had a reply.
Meanwhile, Radical Fishing co-creator Greg Wohlwend has written a bitter open letter to Gamenauts.
"I wake up and I can’t think of working on Ridiculous Fishing without being reminded of this ugliness. It confuses me and stops me in my tracks. There are chunks of time, maybe 20 minutes, where I can work away and try to forget about Gamenauts and Ninja Fishing. Those are nice but have been getting more infrequent.
"Today, was especially hard. Ninja Fishing reached #7 on overall apps in the app store and it upset me more than I thought anything in this business could. I broke down."
You can read the rest of the letter here.
And the text of Vlambeer's email concerning Gamenauts's revenue share offer below.
A few hours after the first wave of Twitter outcry started, Gamenauts sent us an e-mail offering us credits in the game, to be implemented after the first update of Ninja Fishing, as it had already been submitted to Apple. We explained that we didn't want credits and would prefer for them to differentiate enough that credits wouldn't be needed anymore. We then proposed something that could work out for everyone: we asked Gamenauts' to delay their release so we could release Ridiculous Fishing simultaneously with Ninja Fishing. They then offered an revenue share that was never specified, as it's not about the money for us. We wanted the games to speak for themselves & the way to do that would've been for them to release simultaneously with us.