Friday, May 23, 2008

Pata-Pata-Plagiarism: Is Patapon a rip-off?

A few weeks back, the following video by made the rounds on

Cute huh? Apparently it's a short film called Bendito Machine and was created by an artist named Jossie Malis (he has a site for it too!) but wait...this reminds me of something. What ever couuuuld it beeee....

Yep. It's everyone's favorite games-as-art portable RTS "Patapon" for the PSP on Sony. Now, here's the rub; Bendito Machine came out in 2006 as far as I can tell (it at least won awards for it). Patapon came out 2007, just a year later.

Is it possible that everyone's favorite artsy tactical rhythm strategy game is a work of plagiarism?

I don't know about you, but what bugs me about it isn't simply that the animation style is similar and that certain key elements (the eyes that the god machine crap out, the color scheme, the outlines) are similar, what really gets me is that it's also thematically similar. In both cases we have a tribe of small people combating huge monsters, in both cases there is a focus on tribal dance or reverence doing something and in both we get the sensation that the little tribal people are going to be stomped into so many tiny pieces (which, consequentially, happens in both cases).

What's your take? Is Patapon ripping off this guy? Or did he have a hand in making this game? If the former, I'm kinda miffed. If the latter, I'm surprised we haven't heard about it. Or maybe, oddly enough, it's just one big coincidence.


Roc Gaude said...

Fill up the truck bed with ammo, Earl...we gots some killin' to do.

Jenn said...

I'm sorry, but that animated work from 2006 is pretty damning. Ugh.

Nonetheless, I am a huge fan of Patapon's artist, Rolito (Sebastien Giuli) -- here's his bio. What I'm saying is, I am just not sure he's the sort.

Also, Rolito didn't just come out of nowhere. Suppose the plagiarism is actually reversed?

Chris "Papapishu" Person said...

I'm willing to accept that it's a coincidence. I'm just saying it doesn't look good.