Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was the surprise hit of the Xbox 360 launch, a $5 Xbox Live Arcade title that spawned buzz alongside Perfect Dark Zero, Project Gotham Racing 3, and any of the other heavily hyped day-one titles. It also spawned a handful of copycat games that were freely distributed online.
One site hosted a Geometry Wars clone called Grid Wars until recently. The download has now been removed from the site, with the following message attributed to Geometry Wars developer Bizarre Creations in its place:
We're beginning to feel the effects of the Geometry Wars clones on our sales via Microsoft now and are beginning a process to begin to more robustly protect our copyright and intellectual property. Therefore, I'd like to ask you in an amicable fashion to stop infringing our IP and pull the game 'Grid Wars' from the Internet for download. I hope you understand and are able to do this without us having to take further steps.
A Bizarre staffer explained the company's decision to crack down on Geometry Wars clones in a posting on the studio's official forums.
"The issue that we have with the proliferation of GW:RE 'clone' games is their own lack of originality--particularly on the visual front," the post reads. "Only hardcore gamers will be aware of any differences between a clone and the original game beyond the visual level. This potentially takes sales away from our product and weakens our brand--especially if-and-when we decide to launch a version of GW:RE on a platform where a clone is already available. All too often we have seen people confused, calling our game by the name of a clone, and a clone by our name."
For more on Geometry Wars, check out GameSpot's full review.