Created By: dmeagher13 on October 13, 2012

Suspiciously Similar Licensed Game

Licensed Video Game heavily borrowing gameplay concepts from other video games.

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Developing a licensed game can be hard. In addition to all the normal challenges of making video games, developers of licensed games face additional obstacles in the form of tight deadlines to coincide with the release of other licensed media, extra layers of Executive Meddling due to having to work with a video game publisher and the owner of the licensed property, limited budgets, or having to work with source material that just doesn't translate well into a video game.

However, sometimes, the developers really do care. They're going to make a good game, in spite of the obstacles standing in their way. Maybe their reputation is at stake. However, they still have to deal with all these problems, so in making their awesome game, they make take a few shortcuts; namely, heavily borrowing concepts from original video game properties. After all, its easier and less time consuming to use tried and true concepts rather than experiment with new ones. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Maybe the developers think that the gameplay of a certain game matches perfectly with the licensed work. Maybe the original game is more obscure and they see tying a popular license to it is a good way to give it some recognition. Regardless of the reason, what you have now is a Suspiciously Similar Licensed Game.
Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • October 13, 2012
    Do you have any examples? You usually want to have at least three. None come to mind at the moment.
  • October 13, 2012
    The first three Harry Potter games are highly reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda. Most Sponge Bob Squarepants games are collectathon platformers in the style of Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie Partial example: Many people have drawn comparisons between Batman Arkham Asylum and Metroid Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion is like Super Smash Bros. WITH Cartoon Network characters. The Godfather video game is like Grand Theft Auto

    That's all I can think of at the moment. There's surely more.
  • October 13, 2012
    How many video games, licensed or not, couldn't be said to "heavily" borrow concepts from other video game properties?

    Probably more tropeworthy is when a video game company builds a licensed game on the model set by their previous work on an original property or a different license, perhaps to the extent of recycling the Game Engine but not being a Dolled Up Installment.
  • October 13, 2012
    <Mod Note>

    All of your examples seem to be games that are similar to a lot of other games, licensed and unlicensed and not even all that close on most of them. Saints Row is closer to GTA than the Godfather for instance. This does not seem to be a trope. This appears to be complaining. I'm going to discard this.