This week is currently set to see the launch of Ninja Pig Studios' next Wii U eShop title, Jumpy Cat - but the developer behind the infamous Meme Run is already in hot water thanks to accusations that it has used stolen pixel art in its new game.
Jumpy Cat is slated for release on January 22nd in North America, but Richard Davey of UK-based Photon Storm has petitioned Nintendo of America to pull the game as it uses artwork taken from a pixel art tutorial featured on the Photon Storm's blog.
Davey has stated that the images shown in the tutorial are only allowed to appear in projects which are 100 percent free. Jumpy Cat will cost 99 cents when it launches on the eShop.
Ninja Pig founder Jordan Schuetz has already responded via Twitter:
At the time of writing the Jumpy Cat page on the official Nintendo of America site is listed as "unavailable", but it's not known if it has been taken down or if the current surge of traffic directed towards Club Nintendo is to blame. Here's a screengrab of the page before it disappeared:
Needless to say, we'll be keeping a close eye on things and will update this post if any new information comes to light.
[source Topic: Ninja Pig Studios (Meme Run): The Immature Developer]
Why am I never surprised with them...
This is the same unoriginal hack that made Meme Run. So this doesn't surprise me.
Considering all they're making appears to be a bunch of runners, more power to however wants to shut them down.
Can Ninja Pig just STOP. Please. Stop making Shovel ware ON PURPOSE. Its annoying as heck.
Bring on the hate of the overly obsessive people who hate meme run even though they have never actually tried it.
Of course you guys would be quick to report something like this
Stealing other people's work is as low as a developer can go. Gross.
Which of their images is the one taken from Photon Storm?
@shinycube You don't need to play Meme Run to see that it's devs are unoriginal, uncreative, lazy kids who somehow made approval onto the eShop with a half-donkeyed runner.
PLEASE! After Meme Run I can't trust Ninja studios.
People did warn him that he'll deal with copyright issues eventually, just didn't expect it to be a game that wasn't Meme Run.
Due to the speed at which the page was removed I believe it was Ninja Pig who pulled it, and not Nintendo. After they lied to us on twitter about where they "found" the art of course.
The saddest thing of all is that had they bothered to ask, we would probably have let them use the art anyway! (had full credit been given). But it's always the same.. they take and act like jerks when challenged over it, rather than apologise. Just sad to see this happen on a console I love so much.
Go to the link in the article (http://www.photonstorm.com/art/tutorials-art/16x16-pixel-art-tutorial) and scroll to the bottom of the page. You'll see a nearly identical cat to what is used in the game.
It's blatant and obvious infringement. Honestly, I expected problems from Meme Runner before this.
Pathetic stealing someone's else's work is just disgusting!
@midnafanboy The Giana Sisters guys did it.
First, a once-free flash game with a price tag. Then, a game made ENTIRELY out of things ripped from the internet. Why are we only NOW getting on him about his plagiarism?
Oh well, at least the case is airtight. We'll never have to see that quote unquote "developer" embarrass the eShop ever again.
Good. Let's hope they get sued for this.
Serves him right for stealing. Seriously, Ninja Pig is an ass. All he's missing is an apple with a bite taken out of it.
Very bad form. And now they are toast, nobody in the industry will want to work with them.
Wow... just wow... Nintendo needs to stop supporting Ninja Pig Studios. This is horrible.
@unrandomsam be sure to add something to that, so it doesn't leave others confused. Yes, the original Giana Sisters game released back on the C64 was a Super Mario Bros ripoff (like 25+ years ago). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMTdr026bZU But the current game on the eShop , no sir. Unless there's something even I don't know since you didn't bother leaving an example
@hcfwesker Wasn't Giana Sisters DS also a clone?
This has become an overblown misunderstanding due to people jumping to conclusions without bothering to get the facts first.
During the summer of 2014, I was mentoring and working with a 14 year old who has been learning to code over the past few years. I am always happy to collaborate and share information with young developers as they strive to meet their goals. There were many people that helped me along the way when I had questions and needed coding help, so this was my way to give back to the community. After months of hard work going through the learning process, the young developers Jumpy Cat game was complete. I offered to publish it as my company product since I felt the student did a good job with the game, and it was well received by others that we asked to test it.
During the development process, I asked the young developer where he got the art, and was told it was from a site which allowed its reuse. There was never an intention on the part of the young developer or myself to “steal” anyone’s product. If Photon Storm would have sent me a private message informing me that the art on his site is only allowed to be utilized for free games, I most certainly would welcomed a professional conversation with him to discuss the matter further. There was never any intention on my part to deceive, nor did I behave in a “jerk” manner which @PhotonStorm accuses me of.
This is the comment and unwarranted claim by Photon Storm:
“Due to the speed at which the page was removed I believe it was Ninja Pig who pulled it, and not Nintendo. After they lied to us on twitter about where they "found" the art of course.
The saddest thing of all is that had they bothered to ask, we would probably have let them use the art anyway! (had full credit been given). But it's always the same.. they take and act like jerks when challenged over it, rather than apologise. Just sad to see this happen on a console I love so much.”
I handled this situation in the appropriate and professional way by removing the game from the market until I could research the legitimacy of Photons claim further. Photon did not make himself clear in his Twitter post which game he was accusing me of stealing art from. I never lied to him, I only needed clarification of what game he was accusing me of stealing his art for since I have 2 games on the Wii console, and Jumpy Cat was scheduled to be released on Thursday. I invited Photon to contact me offline so we could professionally discuss the matter further, rather than on a public venue. Photon has not elected to contact me offline, therefore I opted to delay the release of the game until I could speak further with the young developer about the art in question.
Prior to this incident, I have never had any interaction with Photon Storm. Therefore, I do not know how he can accuse me of the following “they take and act like jerks when challenged over it”. Nor did I lie on Twitter. I was simply trying to resolve which piece of art for what game they were talking about. Had Photon Storm contacted me directly, this situation could have been handled in a more professional way rather than knee jerk reactions and making unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate comments and slander on public venues. It is unfortunate that a misunderstanding became so enraged because the party in question did not have all the accurate information. I am offering an olive branch apology to Photon Storm for the misunderstanding, and would appreciate an apology in return for the unwarranted slanderous accusations.
I seem to be one of the few that like Meme Run. Granted, I'm only basing this on gameplay videos (I don't own a Wii U), but then again most of the people who hate Meme Run seem to be basing their hatred on gameplay videos too anyway...
@SpykeXD Not in my view, if that is the case you may as well call any 2D platformer with an open world level select screen a clone of super mario world. Giana Sisters DS to me is one of the hidden gems of the system, not many played, nor could find. It's the reason Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams was a day 1 purchase for me, no questions asked. And is still one of my favorite WiiU eShop titles to this date.
About the topic of discussion. I actually agree with NinjaPigs response. I don't condone what was done, but taking matters public is only asking for a public spectacle to ensue. And for some, there is no such thing as bad publicity. And, thanx, I'll take some of that popcorn
@ninjapigstudios Can't say I don't agree with you. Photon publicly and unprofessionally called you out on what was simply a mistake. A simple private message asking for an art change would've avoided all of this drama.
And if I get criticised for just siding with the developer, remember this:
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
@hcfwesker I was only asking because I don't know much about the DS game, I assumed it was just a port of the original game (I have heard it's a hidden gem though).
@RCMADIAX I hope you have enough popcorn for everyone >:3
@ninjapigstudios Nice to see that you're trying to make a peaceful solution. A rarity on the internet these days.
@ninjapigstudios - The "jerk" comment is purely in reference to your responses on twitter when presented with clear proof the art was ours. Instead of apologising you debated the fact, claiming to have found it on OGA (yet failing to provide any link to it when pushed) and saying that it doesn't matter anyway because you changed the "coloring and style" (your words).
These are not rational actions of a 'professional' who failed to carry out due diligence on a game they sought to earn revenue from. Nowhere in that thread of conversation were we ever lead to believe it was a "mistake" - had that been the case I would have gladly resolved it by PM. Instead we were left feeling like it was our fault.
As it happens I'm glad this did come out publicly - it can serve as a pertinent reminder to all developers to carefully check their assets and legality of their game before preparing it for release. Because sadly the cause of this mistake is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if a student did it, or a magical unicorn flew into your room one night and spewed pixels all over your monitor in purple cat shape. The net result is the same. The onus is always on you, the developer, to emphatically prove the game is entirely yours - and if you can't do that then you need to be prepared for any potential fallout, public or not.
I'm trying to remember if I hear about this much drama on Sony and Microsoft's systems. I know Nintendo is trying to be indie friendly and all, but shovelware AND dev drama to go with it? Something has to give. Can't we just play good games?
All right- let's just calm down everyone. Let's just all eat some of @RCMADIAX's popcorn and turn this into a session of Dr. shinycube.
@PhotonStorm About this situation, how does it make you feel, honestly, and respectfully?
walks into the comment thread, then walks right back out of it
dis gon b gud
Jeebus someone @ Nintendo really needs to put Ninjapig studios on some kind of blacklist and never let anything from them through again. This is just pathetic.
@ninjapigstudios Eh, apologize and explain all you want. I still feel offended cause Meme Run is a real thing that's stealing sales from more deserving indie games and that you're polluting the Verified Users section with your pointless, childish, and disgusting posts.
@ninjapigstudios People are upset because of how you act. You do not act at all professional online and your games lack content and creativity.
@shinycube I don't feel there is anything that I need to add that I didn't say already. This stuff happens. It's happened to our work before, and it will happen again. And each time we'll call out those responsible - sometimes they may learn from it, other times they may ignore it. Life goes on.
@ninjapigstudios obviously enjoy creating games, and that's something that should be encouraged, as long as it's done the right way. I read lots of comments here branding their games as shovelware, which is a shame, but at least they are creating something. If it should be allowed on the Wii U is up to Nintendo only - having said that I'm pretty sure Nintendo will listen to one thing more than any other: money. If we buy it, they'll keep allowing it. If we don't, they won't. And who knows, one day they may release something that surprises everyone (with fully legal art
I stand by what I said above - if devs want to use some of our graphics in their games then just ask - we nearly always say yes!
This is the most intriguing NL comment thread I've read in my 6 or 7 years on the site.
The Tomodachi Life gay marriage ones were a hoot too but that's because every comment was terrible. This is pure dev-on-dev action.
I'll take some of the @RCMADIAX popcorn and enjoy the show. And PENTAPUZZLE when the time comes hint hint
@MrWalkieTalkie Wow your comment is amazing!
On a more serious note, I'm not sure how to feel here. Ninja Pig has a valid point, this should have been discussed between the two privately before any big fuss was made. PhotonStorm is a company and shouldn't have to run to mommy and daddy Nintendo to solve their problems.
On the hand, plagiarism is a bad thing and until the issue is fixed, the game should be withheld. And obviously, with a release in about 36 hours, the game wasn't getting fixed and released any time soon.
I think there was a lesson to be learned here. Check ur sources and make sure you aren't stealing. Its best, though, to remain original because then you don't face these problems. A 0.99$ endless runner is fine if you put in more than just running. Online leaderboards or something. But with the amount of endless runners and the fact ninjapigstudios just released one seems kinda lazy and a shortcut into tricking kids into buying cheap games. Ninjapigstudios said a trailer for Meme Run only showed 1% of the whole game. The trailer was the whole game. If Photon Storm won't let him use their sprites, he'll just take anothers sprites
@Discipledoctor when you deal with a lot of take-downs the first port of call is always the store / publisher. You cut it off at the source (or try to). We've wasted time in the past trying to contact developers directly, to the point that we don't even try to do so any more. It's our time we're spending, so it's up to us who we choose to contact first.
I also disagree that a "big fuss" was made by us. We sent out a single tweet (and email) to NOA. That was it. Everything else that happened was snowball effect - quite frankly I find the attention all a bit puzzling. I also feel it stems from a bigger issue here (being reflected in the comments), one not limited to a couple of purple sprites. It feels like this was just the straw that broke the camels back.
I have though, and it's like the CDi games. They're so bad they transcend normal rules so that non players can truthfully say how bad they are
"nor did I behave in a “jerk” manner which @PhotonStorm accuses me of."
Being as "jerk" describes the manner in which you've behaved on literally any outlet that I've seen you to literally every person I've seen you interact with, I'm going to go ahead and remain skeptical.
If it's not Smooth Caramel, Pepper and Chilli it ain't worth eating
I'll take some caramel corn, count me in.
Lesson learned- always double and triple check your sources, and avoid tweeting about something that people will immediately start gossiping about.
I'll take some caramel popcorn.
@Spectra_Twilight both the cat and the duck sprites are ours. I admit they've had a horrendous color shift applied to them, but they're still ours. From the video that was up I believe they are the only sprites in the entire game
The images in this article show it best: http://www.pixeldynamo.com/news/gaming/2015/01/21/48606/jumpy-cat-removed-wii-u-eshop-due-stolen-art-assets/
Nintendo better watch out before the eShop becomes then next Steam Greenlight. We know we've hit rock bottom when Air Control U gets announced.
@Spectra_Twilight they were in the screen shot in the article I linked. Here's a direct link to the pngs on our site:
Don't mind me, i'm just posting here incase it becomes legendary. I want to be a part of it.
You might want to grab some of @RCMADIAX's popcorn.
@PhotonStorm Kudos to you for being professional. I don't know much about your games, what platforms they're on, or what they're like, but I'm already a thousand times more likely to buy yours than Ninja Pig's. It's pretty funny how he's acting all nice on here but is the exact opposite on Twitter. Clearly it's just for show. We can't have enough people like you in this world.
@Vincent294 Agreed. I don't even know who he is but I already respect him for how professional he's being.
@ninjapigstudios As a publisher the buck stops with you. You need to double check everything, there needed to be complete documentation for everything and if you aren't professional enough to do that then you can't complain when you cop the flack for what results from your oversight and business failings.
@PhotonStorm Wow, how did they make two interesting sprites look so ugly? Maybe you should make an "Original Cat" game that is actually fun...
I knew this would happen to @ninjapigstudios eventually. When you create games like Meme Run there is bound to be some sort of legal issue surface.
Also ninja pig, your attitude and activities have not granted you any favors when it comes to people who would actually WANT to support you.
Thanks for the popcorn @RCMADIAX. As for this attack on @ninjapigstudios I have to present this in a way he'll understand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD_imYhNoQ4 (seriously, I'm surprised no one has done that yet)
Love from Italy.
Wow, best comment banter in ages! Just made my cold raining walk to work fly past.....
my opinion?, who cares!!
The original sprites compared to the rip-off:
This just shows what an unoriginal hack @ninjapigstudios is.
thats what happends when you try to make money off a game made by a 14 year old. if the art was free to use, then the kid who made it was not at fault. its the fault of the idiot that tries to make money off it.
Wish I had a drink to go with the popcorn. Only eating the popcorn because no nachos with cheese was available.
So not only did ninjapig steal the pixel art design from photonstorm, but he probably also stole the game from those young students he was "claiming to help"
Serious tip of the day. When making a game, make your own darn character or at least work some someone who knows how!
And Ninja Pig needs to get his (or their, though I seriously doubt there's more than one person in these "studios") The excuse given in the tweet said the things were from a store front that he had license to use. After that was exposed as a lie, he gave us the 14-year old story.
And that was completely uncalled for. -Lz
Oooooh... so much drama! When will Klei Entertainment come on here so we could all beg them to bring Don't Starve?!
I just scrolled through the comments to see how long it took.
Ninja Pig, the art style was not changed as you explicitly claimed it was. We can see that clear as day, in the comparisons between the two. While it's true that a palette swap was applied, that's not sufficient to claim something as your own. Unless, of course, all those Sonic the Hedgehog recolors floating around out there actually DO belong to their "owners"?
I'm passing on the popcorn.....but I've got a fridge full of beer for whoever wants one!
So to sum it up, @ninjapigstudios doesn't have a single original idea.(in my best sarcastic tone)Wow I would not have guessed.
That makes THREE bottom-of-the-barrel, piece of crap developers on the Wii U eShop. Three awful, awful "developers" I will never, ever support. I do find the naming convention of this travesty to be hilariously similar to another eShop rip-off. I guess people with no creativity at all think alike.
That's hardly even a palette swap. That's 20 seconds with changing Hue Saturation in Photoshop.
If we take a few steps back, something really cool is happening here, in a news article on a website, all those involved are in open forum with the masses in the comment section. There aren't many other forums or news subjects were this kind of thing happens. It's a pretty progressive kind of journalism I think.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone will learn the true power of forgiveness soon enough, as well as how easy it is to make original pixel designs if you put your mind to it!
This episode and the last one tells me that the developers behind Ninja Pig Studios need to finish growing up and learn how to deal with the business in a professional manner. Take ownership of mistakes and don't try to redirect blame for them. You are the publisher and the owner of the NinjaPigStudio brand, and once the reputation of your brand is destroyed there is no recovering it.
Right now, I feel like there are a few developers that are currently taking advantage of the $0.99 price point and the lack of a return policy on the eShop. They operate with the assumption that no one will think twice about spending or get upset over losing a dollar. While that may be true and you can financially succeed that way, it doesn't make your game good. In fact it just makes you predatory. You are feeding on those that don't know any better, like kids and those spending money while under the influence.
I wish you guys would aim just a little higher than that.
@PhotonStorm You guys handled this poorly, you should have hit up NPS first before putting him on blast but maybe that's just how you roll.
@Statusphere we did approach NOA first.
NPS = NinjaPig Studios (The developer of MeMe Run)
@Statusphere ok gotcha - and no, that's not our responsibility: https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/01/ninja_pig_studios_accused_of_stealing_pixel_art_for_forthcoming_wii_u_release_jumpy_cat#comment2829004
When you do a chargeback doesn't your bank ask if you have contacted the vendor 1st? It's not my rule it's just how things are "normally" handled in the real world.
I don't agree with what he did but your actions in handling this have also left a bad taste in peoples mouths.
Good luck to you
I guess I just hold myself and my relationships with other businesses to a higher standard.
Since when does twitter count as a professional form of communication between businesses?
@Statusphere PhotonStorm didn't know were to contact NOA for copyright issues, so they tweeted them
If the game is not yet released on the market for sale, @PhotonStorm should have contacted the developer (Ninja Pig Studios) offline to discuss the issue. If the game did get released on the market, then Photon should by all means contact Nintendo directly, as well as contact the developer to get the game removed asap.
This thread states Ninja removed the game of their own accord to look into the matter further. Ninja did the right thing when they learned there may have been a problem, and even issued an apology.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions and professionalism. Name calling does not fall under the category of professionalism no matter how much anyone feels they have been wronged. It just makes the person doing the name calling look bad no matter who they are. It goes back to the old saying everyone should have learned when they were little, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".
@RCMADIAX Ha? I'm very helpful to those in my circle. I'm sure you remember me helping you setup the XboxOne dev-kit that you have no idea how to use. I was also going to help you improve your games before I saw your true colors.
Um... A little late to the party . Any more of that popcorn left?
Just read through all the comments, this has made my day.
Nintendo should take a serious look at what they're letting onto the eShop. Shovelware is one thing, but the crap that @ninjapigstudios is dishing out just completely pathetic and will give the eShop a pretty bad name for itself if they continue to allow it. Why anyone would actually pay money for things like this, I'll never know.
Thanks @PhotonStorm for making this public over Twitter. The more people that are aware of terrible developers, the better. Hopefully it'll help a few people steer clear of their games and bring us one little step closer to Nintendo having no reason to allow it in the first place.
@RCMADIAX ha ! Awesome thanks
Good heavens... Ninja Pig must be so embarrassed. Kudos to calling them out on it, but I'd still never buy it anyway. I don't want junk food like this clogging up my Wii U's arteries.
"You guys handled this poorly, you should have hit up NPS first before putting him on blast but maybe that's just how you roll."
That's not how the real world works. If you get into a legal battle with someone do you:
a) Ask the developer in question to politely take it down?
b) Cut them off by hitting the final source? Aka Nintendo in this case.
I assure you one is more effective than the other.
@Statusphere Shenanigans, the fact that he said that in the first place is calling the kettle black. This is the same person that went into the NintendoLife Review comment section and attacked NintendoLife for their low score and providing false allegations. There is no way anyone should give respect to this guy. This "game" was also going to come out next week, so the quickest most efficient way to get it off the store would be ideal.
@RCMADIAX Yeah, I missed the Twitch stream but I just followed you and looked at the pictures. Dis gun b gud.
@Mercy_Lost "Anyway, I'm sure everyone will learn the true power of forgiveness soon enough, as well as how easy it is to make original pixel designs if you put your mind to it!"
LOL, maybe Mr. Schuetz should use @PhotonStorm 's pixel art tutorials to make new assets for their game.
Dear @ninjapigstudios if you want to still release your game, you should change the game's art and name, and give full credit and fair share to the "young developer".
@moshugan @3dcaleb I actually wasn't going to make any revenue for this game. All of the money was going to the young developer to help fund his college education. I was doing this as a favor and learning experience for him.
@ninjapigstudios I think you're full of pooooooooooop. I don't believe that there even is any "young developer" here. I think you're just trying to shift the blame off yourself and make yourself look better.
@ninjapigstudios I just checked out the trailer and some gameplay vids of Meme Run.
For all it's worth, at least people are talking about it and.. pause ..it sort of became a meme in itself.
"I actually wasn't going to make any revenue for this game. All of the money was going to the young developer to help fund his college education. I was doing this as a favor and learning experience for him."
I call Shenanigans. All of the money?? That's highly questionable.
@ninjapigstudios What does one learn from making one of your games? How to turn someone else's work into digital dollar store fodder?
@MoonKnight7 @crome66 @RCMADIAX
@ninjapigstudios: "It's actually my little brothers game. He's 14 and made the game himself and wanted me to publish it." (From the twitter link RCMADIAX provided)
I think he's honest about the young developer bit. I think they're just a bit juvenile and don't know the ropes yet.
I think the whole Jumpy Cat thing was a mixture of being reckless and not checking everything thoroughly, not thinking it through before going forward with the thing, and of them being disrespectful to other people's rights.
In other words it was a stupid mistake and they made it worse by not being humble enough to admit it right away.
hopefully this experience will teach them to conduct themselves in a better way from now on.
@Moshugan how was the developer "being disrespectful to other people's rights"? He apologized within this thread for the misunderstanding. That is the epitome of being respectful! AND the last few posts have concluded that the studio was telling the truth all along based on previos twitter posts. AND, he did admit it right away, it is within the first posts of this thread. You need to reread the comments.
Based on the information within this thread, I think you have it wrong.
@weirdwonz With the remark of him being disrespectful I was mainly referring to the tweet featured on the main article. Instead of apologizing immediately he was trying to explain why he had the sprites in the game.
@Shane904 A few of the sprites are.
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