If there's ever a lesson to be learned about game creation these days, it's to make sure whatever you're working on is your original work and to not steal from others. A lesson that a mobile game called Pigeon Pop is learning in a very public way. Released about a week ago, the game is a very simplistic title where you move a bird's head to eat food. A free and kind of unremarkable game but with a $2 in-game option for no ads. The reason it's getting so much attention, however, is that the artwork for the game was stolen from a French artist known as Kéké, who posted about the theft with gif examples on their Twitter feed.
Hello everyone, saddly I have some bad news. I'm victime of plagiarism.
A page https://t.co/KfmbOudMvV totally copied my art to make a mobile game with it. I want you to be aware of this and my situation, no artists on the internet deserve such disrespect. #important #artist pic.twitter.com/J9Bp4MqT3u
— Kéké (@Kekeflipnote) February 23, 2018
Kéké is not involved with the game in any manner, which was released by a company called Fortafy Games DMCC, who claim to be "Based in the Australia, Dubai and United States the company has seen a fast level of growth in its early stages." The fact that Kéké has artwork and animations going back years while this company doesn't even look like it's been around six months pretty much tells the tale. Facebook took noticed and suspended the company's page on the site, while their Twitter remains unused. The unfortunate part to all of this is that the game remains on the Apple Store and Google Play, meaning the game is still getting downloads and possible revenue despite clearly plagiarizing someone else's artwork.
As of this morning, Fortafy Games has made no statement on the matter and has not contacted Kéké about the use of their artwork. But for the most part, the artist seems confident they will win any challenge, as indicated by their most recent updates today.
For the update also, to keep you informed.
Things are going fine for my side, I'm glad. To resolve things like those it always takes some times but it's going well. So don't worry.
All proofs, dates and animations are with me :)
— Kéké (@Kekeflipnote) February 25, 2018