An e-mail sent out by Elyland, the developers behind Draconius GO, indicates that Niantic is not pleased that Draconius exists. The developers are claiming to have received an “un-grounded” complaint on the App store from Niantic.

Allegedly, Niantic has stated that the existence of Draconius GO is a copyright violation of  Pokémon GO. In response to the complaint, the devs shared the following response in an e-mail sent out to media and friends:

“We’ve received an un-grounded complaint from Niantic in the Appstore — they think we’ve violated their copyright. However, we didn’t use their coding or graphics when developing our product, it’s absolutely original. The developers of this popular GO game seem to think that they own the exclusive rights for the whole AR genre. It’s not like that. We believe that the market and players will only benefit from healthy competition.

When we developed this game, we consulted leading world-class lawyers, and we are 100% certain that Niantic’s claim is unjustified. Niantic’s reaction shows that they consider us as a serious rival. By doing so, they actually prove that our product is better. In just one year, our Ukrainian team has managed to do more than Niantic, with all their billions of income. And we are proud of our results. Our graphic is unique and better quality than in any other AR games. Besides, our game offers a variety of game mechanics that were never used in other AR games.

We hear and understand our players, we offer them an interesting gameplay. That’s what makes us special. We hope that our rivals will start improving their own games instead of making complaints and ignoring their fans. Currently, we are preparing new updates that we hope will make our players happy in the nearest future.”

The devs have shared no further info, but it doesn’t seem that this story will end anytime soon. Draconius is getting more and more popular, growing to almost 100 000 downloads on Android over the past seven days.

Admittedly, the game is very very similar to Pokémon GO, but it’s rise in popularity is not surprising — especially in rural areas. Unlike Pokémon GO, Draconius doesn’t rely on the existence of actual real world Points of Interest.

Draconius Go is a game developed by Elyland, an Ukrainian development studio, and is available in the Apple iOS and Google Play app stores.

  • Josh Hack

    If Niantic do sue them, they’ll surely lose at this point. The games may be similar, but as said “Niantic do not own the entire AR genre”

    • Edwin Fung

      So hackers and counterparts deserve attention.

    • Partysaurus Rex

      Seeing as you yourself have no problem breaking the law (or rules) when it suits you. I would expect nothing less. Unfortunately though, that also gives you a considerable blind spot when it comes to these matters.

    • Dana Summers (RexHav0c)

      You must be joking. Niantic will drag them through the courts for years and drain them dry if they want. Clearly they have a very good case, anyone can see it just from a cursory examination of both games.

    • Mike

      Then they’ll have to sue every AR game that uses gps… Wonder if they’ll win against The Walking Dead game that is in the works.

      • Lycella

        Tho some of the actual graphics are direct copies. And the UI is also basically a clone same with the gameplay.

    • Jose Cifuentes

      The problem is that Niantic’s pockets are deep and can sue them for whatever grounds for years and dry them up until they are force to shut down DroGO due to lack of funds for servers and stuff.

    • Dan

      They aren’t suing because the game is AR. They’re suing because the look and feel is exactly their product.

  • Probs mad because they actually implemented PVP before niantic could XD even if it’s trash

    • Ricardo Martinho

      It’s the same trash that Pokemon go PVP will be without a battle system rework.

      • Kevin Stratigis

        but at least they implemented it. that is what counts. Also it runs much smoother, has more features and will be updated with more cool stuff. I wish and hope niantic is waking up now. I mean niantic is one of the worst billionaire companies ever (i dont know how much money they made but looks like they doesnt spend it to make a better pokemon go :D)

    • Marcelo

      Not only PvP, but rural players can play the game too. There is a Pillar (same as pokestops) every 200m~.

      In Pokemon Go there is only one pokestop near my house and it is almost 1km far.

      That is the price for not trusting Pokemon Go Players to submit new Pokestops. We depend on the Ingress Players, but guess what? There is no Ingress players in my city.

      • Darwin Long

        This comes at a perfect timing because Niantic just removed thousands of primarily rural Pokéstops and ceased synchronization of new Ingress portals with PoGo on October 11, upsetting a large number of players. This might make Niantic re-think doing that.

      • Darwin Long

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6ce3ac4096c6a0d1bbe78802a309e5570ee142bc971c4569da72330b2a902991.jpg

        Look at this image… this is where my home is located in a very rural area, 75 miles south of New Orleans. On the right is Draconius GO – lots of “stops”, “gyms”, and other locations where your characters learn new skills, you complete missions, etc. On the left side… well, it simply speaks volumes. There’s literally NOTHING on PoGo’s map except 2 spawns in Sightings that you can’t even track. On DraGO’s Sightings radar, (complete with tracking for EACH monster), there are NINE! DraGO has got rural gameplay right the first time! Niantic… they continue to actively shun rural areas, and materially proved that on October 11 – in the the top left picture, note a red circle… that’ s where one of 12 Pokestops 10 miles around us used to be but was removed on October 11 during the worldwide “Pokestop mass deletion” event.

      • Partysaurus Rex

        I definitely agree that it makes no sense that they have continued to focus (at least it appears that way) on the Ingress game itself. I had never even heard of Niantic or that game until Pokemon came out. Looking at top downloads/sales… Ingress is nowhere on the top 50, I doubt its on the top 100. So why there is any focus or effort on refining Ingress is beyond me, smart business would be to make sure the bigger game is getting refined. But… wutevs.

      • Tiago Matos

        It’s not just that there are no Ingress players. They actually exist and you can actually negotiate with them, since remote areas with someone willing to help are very sought of by ingress players.

        There are other current problems with submitting portals that kind of seem like it’s a waste of time submitting them:

        1. Ingress players are (or became) too picky, so things that should actually be portals are getting rejected + Niantic takes months to deal with the appeals.

        2. Niantic added new invisible rules for portal candidates that no one knows about, and has to guess…

        3. Niantic is rejecting portals because they are too close to other portals (which is unfair, not that big cities already have tons of portals close to each other. Smaller towns will not be able to get any portal/pokestop cluster like there are in big cities. Niantic doesn’t even specify what that minimum distance actually is.

        Basically, Niantic’s problem is the lack of communication with the community. That, plus the fact that they want to milk the cow instead of working towards making the game fun.

        • Marcelo

          But there is really no Ingress players near me. I even offered money in the game chat for someone creating portals in our city and got no replies.

    • Dan

      It’s no the PvP system we want, though. People want to battle their frirends. Draconius Go is used to battle random strangers across the world, never an option to battle friends.

  • Karin Lottering

    it’s rise in popularity is not surprising — especially in rural areas

    YES!!! its so nice to actually get something without walking myself to death
    still pokemon go is my top 1

  • Ruslan K

    instead of learning the best features and implementing them in Pokemon Go Niantic tells about copyright violation… hope this new game will urge Niantic to release more cool features much faster!

    • Mike

      Well let’s be serious for a minute… We all know damn well that Niantic thoroughly inspected the app to see what they can steal because they can’t implement anything good in this game properly. After doing that they reported the app.

  • Leeroy Jenkins

    Fair play to them. They managed to make a much better product with much less money and manpower involved. If they had an IP like Pokemon Niantic could close down their business.
    @Niantic if you are reading this. Improve your game and much more important. COMMUNICATE

    • Dana Summers (RexHav0c)

      Amazing how much can be accomplished when you just steal someone else’s hard work and then layer on your own. Isn’t it?

      • Mike

        So should Nintendo own every platformer because Mario is the most well known and one of the first platformers?

        • Partysaurus Rex

          That’s kind of hyperbolic considering the facts. This isn’t like another clever use of AR. Comparing it Mario, would be a like a competing game with Twin Electricians, who fight frogs, and save Princess Pepper, for the flower people. The issue is that it is too similar. Not going to give a lecture on intellectual property. But it will have to be unique ENOUGH for the courts to rule in favor of Elyland… I don’t see anything unique beyond the creatures themselves.

      • happi

        Yeah someone should really go after og version of Pokemon for “stealing” final fantasy style turn based combat, and random creature encounter system….

        • Partysaurus Rex

          Wasn’t that published on a Nintendo system?

      • happi

        Grow up dip shits…everyone borrows from each other…this is just better…deal with it

    • Dan

      The problem is that it’s not a better product, and it costs MORE money for the same stuff as Pokemon Go. It’s a terrible ripoff clone of PGo, but with PvP.

      • Piotr Krzywicki

        Nah, it has way more than just PvP. It has missions (both for normal gameplay and time-limited item search on map), crafting, more advanced PoIs system (5 types instead of 2), 2 way of hatching new creatures (km and time based), character customization affecting gameplay, treasure hunting. As for price differences, coins are indeed more expensive in Draconius, but this difference is at least partially explainable by different currency used as reference (USD for PoGo, presumably EUR or UAH for Draconius). Also, there are more “gyms” than in PoGo, so coins are easier to get.

        • Randomman29

          And Pokemon Go will have all that stuff. Only now they will be labeled as the copier now. Pokemon go will still be the better one.

          • Piotr Krzywicki

            You have great faith in Niantic then. I don’t. It’s like year and half since the release of PoGo, and it’s still lack actual “game in the game”, despite the time devs had for developement (almost four years in total) and experience they got while developing Ingress . Elyland from the other hand claims that they have finished Draconius in just one year, and despite four timea shorter developement time, much less budget and lack of experience in dev of ar games they managed to implement way more features into it. Theres also a lot of difference in attidute to customer – Elyland, at least for now, activly seeks cooperation with community, while Niantic doesnt give single juck about it untill shtstorm grows to enormous level and they risk massive player loss. I’ve seen that attidute in many MMOs I’ve played in the past – it’s just laziness of developer, who get playerbase (and thus income) big enough to loss any interest in active developement of the game. And since people who would give up already burned out and PoGo is based on very popular franchise, Niantic doesn’t even care – there alwaya be the players, so all they need to do is to keep making in-game events and release from time to time small contents patches pro forma, to keep impression that game is alive. Sad story, but experienced it many timea before. The only hope is that Draconius will grow big enough to become serious threat and thus Niantic will have to wake up and actually working on game.

          • Chris Seals

            IMO, the only way pogo will be a better game is if a competent developer buys out Niantic.

          • Randomman29

            Or if players stop complaining about the same issues and let Niattic work on the improvements.

          • D.A.V.E.

            Complaints don’t delay Niantic from working on the game. You know what does? Petty, frivolous copyright strikes against better games.

          • Chris Denton

            You know why we complain about the same issues? Because niantic never addresses them.

  • Regis Scott Wengel

    Suspicious quotes are suspicious.

  • reygie reyes

    Nah, Pokemon Go is way better.

    • Scott Dawes

      did you hit your head? pokemon go is boring and niantic are taking everyone playing legit (not spoofing) for a ride.

      • Partysaurus Rex

        Hold up you started playing Pokemon GO for the mechanics, and NOT for the Pokemon? Interesting…

        • Piotr Krzywicki

          Well… that’s exact description of my case. I had contact with Pokemon only in childhood, like 15-20 years ago, and it was only original animated series (don’t remember well right now, but probably not even past 1st gen) and Tazos (collected only few of those). I picked up PoGo because it offered me activity on fresh air, which I wouldn’t take otherwise because of depression, and collectionary aspect, which I like a lot (was collecting stamps at young age, spent most of my game time in World of Warcraft during and post Mists of Pandaria catching critters…). I’ve of course remembered few Pokemon, but nothing beside that. Right now, after 11 months of gameplay and filling entire Pokedex with all European spieces, I still stick to PoGo, but I really lack motivation to play and most of time I run game only when I’m going to or from bus stop to home, for catch and Pokestop daily streak. There is literally nothing to do beside grinding level with Pidgeys and Weedles for me, as I live in rulas and thus don’t even have a chance to hunt for good IV speciments, like city folks do – I am happy to have single ones for Pokedex entry, and shinies aren’t a real thing anyway (got my shiny Magicarp 2 months ago, shiny Pikachu is synonymus of “no way” for me as even normal one is very, very rare spawn here, and Gen 3 shiny ghosts aren’t worth that time when they will be available anyway after main Gen 3 launch). For this reason, I’d like to try Draconius, as there is plenty things to do and seems to be way less repeatitive than PoGo – and I think I’d stick to it, with small break for Raikou, at least until December. But I don’t want to break with PoGo completly – simply because I grew attached to my Pokemon collection (and, despite better and more detailed graphic in Draconius, they are simply prettier).

      • Spetsen

        I’m the first one to admit that there are a lot of things that are bad in PoGo and it can even be considered a bad game. But DraGo? I haven’t played it but based on what I’ve seen it’s a very poorly implemented game.

      • reygie reyes

        Have you tried playing Draconius Go Scott? If not, don’t and thank me later for saving you a lot of time and not letting you hit your head in the process.

        • Scott Dawes

          I am and i like it lol nothing new coming to pokemon go till spring for me so Draconius go will keep me entertained atleast that long.

    • Neopiru Games

      finaly people are starting to see that there is problem with Pokemon GO. DracoGO coudn’t come at the better time like this. We are just in the middle of gen3 drop but there are still no new mechanics in the game and there never will be… there is even no possibility to enchance catching mechanics since they are already sealed in PoGo Plus and Niantic will not update this gadged any time soon and if they start by doing so in-game everyone with PoGo plus can throw it in the trash…. and thats just one simple in-game mechanic that cant be changed, whats next ?

      • Scott Dawes

        a few people are seeing it, sadly alot of pogo players are to stupid 🙁 cant believe there so many people to back up niantic after everything

  • Faizan Arshad

    Great Trainer Tips. Look what you’ve done now!!!!!

    • Leo Luo

      TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • David Jeffers

      The company paid Nick to make the video. Their fault they got cocky thinking they were invincible.

      • Ajberardi

        They wanted their name out there.. that is why they paid nick. Believe me they knew this was coming and even mentioned they have world class lawyers already.

        • Chris Denton

          I hope they sue niantic if/when they copy features from draconiousGO sometime in the next 50 years.

          • Dan

            If they do, they won’t implement them the same way. The PvP system will be local based to battle friends. The quest function will be acceptable by an in game prompt, not going to a specific spot to accept them.

  • Piotr Krzywicki

    “Unlike Pokemon Go, Draconius doesn’t rely on the existence of actual real world PoI” xD that joke made my day. Have in town: 17 WW2 bunkers (biggest concentration of pre-WW2 defensive objects in my half of country), church older than USA, few next-to-road shrines from XIX century, few building left from XVIIIth century manor – Niantic doesn’t give a juck about that, 0 Pokestops there. But 10 Pokestops just on information boards in city park? No problem, thats “true” PoI. No wonder people are actually switching game, if Niantic current policy is “You live in rural? Sorry, you’re loser”,
    I am so angered with their “give and immediatly take away” of new Pokestops, that I don’t even have words now to describe it. After more than year, I’ve got 4 stops in town, instead of just one (~4km from my house, at the other end). Even more, nearest stop was just 500m downhill, instead of almost 2km trip to the other town. This was impulse for me to come back to game after I’ve filled my Pokedex with all spieces available in Europe back to the date. And then they rolled it back without any reason…

    • hkmaly

      The idea of using real world places is great. The implementation from Niantic is … total failure. Couldn’t they BUY some object database to have something for start?

      • Piotr Krzywicki

        The point is that they thought they haven’t need to do something like that, because they had Ingress database (and Google Maps landmarks). They just “forgot” that not everything is on Google Maps, especially outside USA, and most of the world didn’t even hear about Ingress (or Niantic) until PoGo was released.

        • hkmaly

          I think IF they actually had Google Maps landmarks it wouldn’t be so empty.

  • Alhezz

    The competition only bring us better products. Niantic you better hurry and improve your game. Good for Draconius GO, go ahead!

    • Chris Denton

      Competition is bad for a business that doesn’t want to change anything.

      Quick, sue sue sue.

      • Harish Waghela

        Now delate Pokemon go n download new game this xraid event so noob I have no x raid pass n ma friend got 3 time x raid pass OMG👎👎

        • Chris Denton

          If draconiousGO was a Pokémon game I would.

          Niantic would have nothing if it weren’t for us Pokémon fans. We made them and they repay us with disappointment every chance they get.

          Also, there is no ex raid system. Just a test and everyone cried about not being part of the testing.

  • Rishi Chavda

    dont worry NIANTIC we all are with you they are 50k and we are 1 billions….

    • WingedSupernova

      No, most of us hate Niantic in some regard.

      • Scott Dawes

        exactly, people need to wake up already. roll on Draconius go!

        • Partysaurus Rex

          Frustrations with Niantic aside I’m not about to go support some hackjob game that couldn’t even come up with an original idea.

      • Partysaurus Rex

        True but the facts need to be faced. The gameplay never roped anyone in to playing the game. It was always about Pokemon. No matter how much improved the gameplay is on Draconius… it will always be a knock off.

        • Kjetil Jacobsen

          If Pokemon Go was/is about pokemons, how can Draconius be a knock off seing as there are no pokemons in it?

          • Partysaurus Rex

            I guess the point is 2 parts. First that the game mechanics as a whole are pretty shallow. So I don’t see Draconius ever being more popular simply because they can program better. Second hating Niantic for their game is kind of irrelevant. We got roped in because of being a fan of Pokemon. I’m also not going to define knock off for you… you’d have to be pretty daft not to be able to recognize the similarities on your own.

    • Mike

      Not everyone is a sheep. Some of us can like a franchise but not the developer of a specific game.

      • Rishi Chavda

        no worries..i m just saying that pokemon is best game

  • Partysaurus Rex

    Some serious use of logical fallacies in the response given by Elyland, a cursory glance at screenshots and videos of the game shows some pretty significant similarities. Between the two games some of which they aren’t/weren’t even trying to make or be different. Acknowledging Niantic’s “billions of income” one may want to consider a slightly more tactful response as this is likely only going to provoke a full fledged lawsuit, and being that you have millions of downloads and paying customers, vs “almost” 100k (probably not) paying customers, who do you think is better situated to outlast an expensive legal battle? The audacity and indignation by people who are clearly in the wrong these days is nauseating.

    • scelestion

      The question is whether Niantic has a case. If Elyland really made their coding by themselves, which may be proved easily, there’s may very well be no case at all. I’m not an expert in this, but things are possible.

      • Partysaurus Rex

        Ya I’m not an Intellectual Property expert, so I can’t say definitively when it comes to software. If the exact code was used, I would only assume that was slam dunk case. But even with their “own code” that game is not “absolutely original” as Elyland claims, quite literally the only difference are the creatures themselves which are licensed anyway. None of the concepts or mechanics in Draconius are unique.

    • hkmaly

      Except those world class lawyers may do it for free or rather for publicity. It actually seems they are deliberately daring Niantec to sue, which would be really stupid if they weren’t ready for that.

      • Partysaurus Rex

        But as defendants they would have nothing to gain from the lawsuit other than continued use of their game… which at this early stage isn’t worth that much. Daring Niantec to sue them is just throwing money away. If Elyland is looking to trash some cash I have some school loans that are still being paid off.

        • hkmaly

          As I said, publicity. They can’t get money directly, but the publicity of being company who dared to go to lawsuit against Niantec may be worth it for them.

          (Personally, I don’t think the publicity would be THAT much better compared to being little less daring, but I’m no expert on publicity … and seriously don’t see any other reason. Also, yes it would definitely cost them money.)

  • Dana Summers (RexHav0c)

    That statement reads like a robo rant generator. “World class lawyers” indeed!

  • Scott Dawes

    Everyone needs to side with Dracoius Go, it will only bring good things for everyone.
    Niantic will be forced to give better and faster content if Draconius Go stays.
    Wake up people…

    • Chris Denton

      The majority will side with draconious go. They will still play Pokémon go, though.

      The same 5 people on here who say nothing is wrong with pogo will obviously be butt hurt.

    • GonzoI

      If end user complaints trumped infringement claims, Napster would still be helping people illegally share music. Like it or not, this is entirely decided behind closed doors inside Apple’s HQ by people who don’t want to get in the middle of a lawsuit. There’s no “siding” here.

    • Abhinav Kumar

      agreed Thats why i Uninstalled Pokemon Go and am Playing Draconius Go

      • Partysaurus Rex

        But still stalking the site like a thirsty ex-girlfriend. Addicted? Can’t seem to let go? I’d say there is something still keeping you around.

  • Edwin Fung

    Would Niantic ever ask themselves why they’ve got a counterpart company with 100000 players? Maybe Niantic think those players are turncoats of Pokemon GO, but there must be a reason behind it.

    • Scott Dawes

      Ye the fact pokemon go is boring? and I cant even play it anyways because no one turns up to raids?
      Draconius go is a breath of fresh air, so many nice touches to the game,
      unlike pokemon go things move! you get portals spawn at your house and you enter them and everything goes mad!
      then i play pokemon go and go, ye another weedle….woooooo…..exciting…

      • Edwin Fung

        Are you starting to play Draconius GO?

        • Scott Dawes

          You have not played it enough if you think it’s exactly the same, since when did pokestop and stuff move location in pokémon, also they are already in talks of more things to be added and you’ll be able to report things that need moving and they get back to questions in less than 24 hours, Niantic don’t even reply ever!

      • Dan

        It’s really not a breath of fresh air. It’s exactly Pokemon Go with the ability of PvP. I barely got to level 4 and had to stop because it’s the same freaking game.

        • Neopiru Games

          yeah but with quests, armor, NPCs , enchantments and weapons – very similar indeed xD no wonder Niantic is angry, they overslept so many cool ideas

    • Mike

      100000 in 3 days for a game with like no previous fan base isn’t bad. And that’s 100000 just on one store.

  • Dimas Aditya S

    If niantic was a person I would have slapped him in the face & said:”Wake the fak up! Get yourself together niantic!”

  • red21duck

    It’s stealing and copying ideas, how can you say that draconius is way better bc they did pvp and stuff which isn’t in pogo after more than a year..THEY just stole ideas about coming features in pogo.. noobs

    • Neopiru Games

      sure! … like quests, armors, weapons and NPCs will ever come to Po Go. It’s more likely to make a statement: “Niantic has a game right now that is a retarded clone of Draconius GO” xD

  • Rikudo

    Seriously, Draconius Go is a rip off of Pokemon Go. Period.
    Don’t know if it’s good or bad, didn’t try it, just saw Nicks Video.

    But true words are said:
    Niantic lacks quality programming. Every Update contains loads of bugs, some let the game run ultra slow, impossible to play. I can’t understand how a software company earning money like Niantic does is publishing poor releases as they do.
    Part of the features they think of for improving the game totally suck, like the new gym system and ex raids.
    Niantic, you seriously need to step up your game.

  • “Our graphic is unique and better quality than in any other AR games.”

    Hopefully those “other games” aren’t Pokemon Go, because after I saw Draconius graphics I felt like seeing a 1998 game or less, they were TERRIBLY bad on all the ways c’mon!

    And btw, maybe they’re work is their, and not stolen, that’s ok, but the ideas? That’s a total steal from the upcoming (we hope) features on Pokemon Go.

    They did it before? Ok, but that was after reading a lot of pokemon go users complaints on forums, reddit, etc. So it doesn’t make the “originality” of all by their own.

  • Leo Luo

    The thing is, I still like Pokémon so I will be a little against Draconius GO.

  • ikato kiyazaki

    Dracono go is such a boring game. It will die out in 1 week max lol. Most people didnt even know it existed until youtubers made videos about it

    • Piotr Krzywicki

      It’s fresh game after all. It was initialy released at October 7th in few selected countries and globaly at October 16th. Since it isn’t supported by any franchise, no wonder people wasn’t aware of it at first place.

  • GonzoI

    This statement might have more credibility if you weren’t throwing Draconiballs to catch Draconimon. You might argue that the interactions with the gyms and Draconistops in Draconius GO are basic game structures, but catching different virtual monsters with thrown balls (with a curveball mechanic) is uniquely Pokemon. Add to that the fact that it’s so blatant of a ripoff that it looks like a barely concealed skin of GO, and, yeah, the courts will be releasing Draconius Gone if they fight this.

    Yes, what they did is impressive and Niantic’s failure to implement many of these features is depressing, but a copyright holder not being the best at capitalizing on a copyright doesn’t negate copyright law.

    • Partysaurus Rex

      I think you’re definitely on the right track. But what you have to consider is that the Pokemon themselves are a licensed franchise. Essentially what Draconius GO has stolen is EVERYTHING that Niantic as a company brought to the franchise/Genre. Which, I think makes the case that much stronger.

      • Piotr Krzywicki

        With one exception – game mechanics itself are no subject of copyrights, as it was proven in Asteroids vs Meteors case (explained further in Gamasutra article “Clone Wars: The Five Most Important Cases Every Game Developer Should Know”). Since basic idea of catching monsters with dedicated device is unprotectable by law, and explaination of mechanics behind Pokeballs and balls in Draconius is presumably completly different, altough visually they are similar. It isn’t so easy at it may be looking at first, as PoGo is first and most notable example of virtual monster catching AR game, but this also means it’s responsible of creating new branch of mobile games (and, presumably, new genre), and thus Draconius can be assumed as other example of this genre, with some unique gameplay ideas not presented in PoGo (like in early history of FPS games, when all games was similar to Wolfenstein 3D, and back then it was also legal issue if, for example,all new no-id Software FPS games are self-standing products in genre inspired by it [because technical limitations made them all looking similar to Wolfie], or just clones).

        • Partysaurus Rex

          That was an interesting read. Thank you. The only thing I would point out is, “How courts treat developers copying ideas for video games, however, has quietly but dramatically evolved over the past year.” and that article was written in 2013. The cases in which the courts did not rule in favor of the plaintive… were in the 80s and 90s. Whereas the case examples from 2012 are showing a more strict enforcement of copyright law on “clones”.

          • Piotr Krzywicki

            True, but also consider that both recent cases Gamasutra wrote about (Tetris vs Mino [which is curiosal btw., as claiming copyright to Tetris are kinda break of copyright – game was developed by Russian engineer Pajitnov in 1984, and since there wasn’t such thing as individual copyright in USSR legal system, game should be considered as existing in public space] and Triple Town vs Yeti Town) was about games, which were simply reskins of originals – there wasn’t any new/changed mechanics in them, no new features, simply changed assets. Draconius, from the other hand, has multiple elements not present in PoGo, including mechanics that aren’t present or aren’t logical continuation of currently existing features (such as treasure hunting, character personalistation with items modifing gameplay, crafting, NPCs or portals [they appear and disappear randolmy on map; using those changes gameplay – after use, square of side aprox. 400-500m is created, with Portal in center; on the square area, Pillars/stops are distributed differently than on normal map, and also spawns are modified – this is the only way to catch Arcane/Dungeon type creatures beside using incense, and you can also encouncer Dragon Mother NPC here, who is used for incubating new type of eggs present in game – time, not distance based ones]).

        • GonzoI

          Atari v. Amusement World was ruled because the specific expression of the idea was not identical, whereas in this case it is. Furthermore, shooting asteroids is a generic concept, where catching monsters in thrown balls is specific and can be copyrighted as a specific expression of an idea in itself (Gamefreak has successfully defended it in the past, if I recall correctly).

    • Chris Denton

      Have you played paper toss? Niantic clearly ripped them off. The only difference is pogo calls it a curveball and paper toss calls it wind.

      I doubt very much that the devs of draconiousGO didn’t check before creating this game that they are in the clear on copyrights. If they didn’t they are idiots.

      • peponzio

        Oh wow! That looks like fun, and there’s even a second game.

        It seems to have come out back in 2009! Niantic wasn’t even created was it?

        It’s not an easy case, I’ll just sit back and watch this one.

        • Chris Denton

          Yeah it’s a blast. I still play it and I’ve had it since 09.

          Not sure if niantic was around or not. I think they were just a part of google, I can’t really remember though.

  • Neopiru Games

    there are tons of game clones like Clash of Clans and no one cares … if Niantic will make a fuss about that they will fail in front of many players, because it’s just the beginning …. there will come a bunch of similar games soon and they should know it if they released their AR software for other develpers – now they cry omg

  • YellowZaki

    I prefer Pokemon Go thousands times but I LOVE that Draconius exists so Niantic now have a rival and will make Pokemon Go better.

  • Chris Denton

    If it was Pokémon I would be gone. Niantic can suck it. Full year and what has been added? Raids for city folks?

    They can shove their social requirements where the sun don’t shine.

    This game works outside of a city because it’s not ingress like pogo.

  • Neopiru Games

    the problem with PoGo is not particularly lack of PvP… it’s the game mechanics that are VERY POOR, but because its Pkemon game many people just stayed and play like zombies knowing very well that there is literaly nothing about it to be excited about at all. Draconius on the other hand delivers, quests, NPCs, armors, enchantements and even crafting. This small elements combined together you can call a gameplay…. but throwing a ball alone just to fill a dex can’t make you really excited – once again, the only fact that this garbage PoGo went viral is pretty obvious. They got the mobile game of the year award because of micro transactions and not the actual gameplay because its a trash… I would say that PoGo is going on a break right now. There is a certain time you can get people fooled

  • Colin

    This is amazing! Niantic deserves worse. Pokémon should take back the right from Niantic/PokémonGO and give it to these people at Draconius Go. Check out Draconius Go if ya want a complete game that makes sense. For the first 3 weeks I played I kept finding more and more cool new content that Niantic doesn’t have.

    • Hank

      This ^

  • Marcelo

    Draconius Go is a game with every good suggestions Pokemon Go players suggested to Niantic.
    Niantic has NEVER listened to players complaints, so Draconius had. The game is as awesome as Pokemon Go could have been.

  • Kevin Tan

    So did Draconius GO get a shadow or permanent ban?

  • Randomman29

    I’m thinking Elyland just wanted interest in Draconius Go. Sticking with Pokemon Go just because of Pokemon.

  • Steve Brain

    Elyland, let Niantic’s tears and failures as a company fuel your continuing success.

  • James Lowery

    That game truly sucks. A lot of what makes Pokémon go cool is that Pokémon is cool. Plus the mechanics are a lot better

  • Deidre Emerson

    I really can’t see how Niantic could copyright ball-throwing and battling imaginary monsters. That’s not an original idea exclusive to Pokémon, and certainly not Pokémon Go. The graphics, layout, and the general premise are all different, though admittedly similar, they’re not similar enough to scream infringement.

  • Drake

    If their goal was to get Niantic to start improving pogo, then fine. Niantic needs to wake up. But this response from them is childish. They admit that they copy-pasted pogo, while at the same time saying their game is original. They should instead say “we are pleased that we got a reaction out of Niantic, which was our goal with this game. Hopefully they will improve their game before all their players switch to us”

  • Alaska Stark

    ….well, I saw TrainerTips play it on YT… it looks cool – but dude, it’s not Pokemon. I’m not interested xDD

  • aaron d

    Ok Niantic you should be ashamed to think that no other game would mimic yours in time. Just about every game out is something similar to another. They did it better and now your pissed. That’s what you get

  • I don’t care about any of them but this game is a clone of Pokemon go… Even the UI is the same.

  • Greg

    It is a late wake up call for Niantic. The way they treat their paying customers is disappointing. I have been posting about it in my previous posts and will not repeat it. It’s about time to improve their attitude if they want to retain their customer base. I’ve been playing the game since the very beginning, level 40 completed months ago, they better listen to their faithful customers. We are their best advertisers and promoters. Wake up guys!

  • Lucifer Faust

    I downloaded the app to see for myself, and I’ve got to side with Niantic.

    I get that people are frustrated with a lack of features, but this other game uses the same artwork and assets, a heck of a lot of the same coding, menu lay outs, etc. Just because they tacked on new features doesn’t mean they aren’t breaking copyright. It’s not about the AR genre, it’s about the unauthorized use of code and imaging.

  • Jayden Plays Pokemon GO

    From images, the off AR looks like PoGo. The forest. Map, looks like PoGo w/invert colors in a way and some new features. They have a catch screen like PoGo. They have balls to catch “dragons” like PoGo has balls to catch “monsters.” So I see why Niantic is getting angry. I don’t blame em. It’s a VERY similar game in the format of catching and gps. Maybe if the roads were like cobbled or something and it wasn’t green vastness and had flowers, I wouldn’t see the issue in the map. Like at least change the map

  • McMemorex

    People still do not realize the complexity of the game. It is very easy to sit and criticize and ask for new functions. They forget that Niantic had to create a project from the zero, that has to be balanced and functional so that millions of players can play it at the same time. It is easy to copy a project and add the features that the players want, let’s see when the community grows if can hold for a long time.

  • Felipe Bauer

    This will be a good thing for pokemon go, and I’m really hoping niantic doesn’t win the copyright battle.
    If they don’t, they will have to listen to the fans and improve the game to surpass draconius go.

  • Biga173rd

    This game is awesome!! XD

  • Carlos Casas

    Niantic should hire those guys to integrate PvP faster

    • peponzio

      You know, it seems PvP in that game is not exactly as PvP as many would want.

      You are somewhere, you choose “Wizard Battles”, it chooses a random guy around you, his chosen monsters appear and you fight them. But your opponent is controlled by “AI” and is not very good at discerning advantages and disadvantages.

      So you might as well attack a gym ’cause difficulty would be no different. And it seems the opponent barely has any say in the fight that chose him/her randomly.

      So you’re not meeting anyone really, you’re not really fighting someone (it’s a computer controlled fight), and you didn’t even choose who to fight with.

      As it stands right now it might as well be called PvR for Player vs Random as in: you fight random parameters.

      • Carlos Casas

        I see. It is not full PvP but it is something to start.

        • peponzio

          Yes, and they might be saving new features and improve mechanic and make it true PvP and whatever. Personally I wouldn’t care if they make it real-life battle with sparks coming out of the phones it’s not Pokemon so I don’t care.

          Pokemon fan here for like ever.

  • GonzoI

    You’re making several stretches to try to draw pokemon’s pseudoscience capture mechanic under the umbrella of the fantasy themes (and the “X, I choose you” connection is outright false since it demonstrably has nothing to do with the creature’s true name and is often done without any speech at all), but even if we take your assertions as fact, that still leaves catching in a thrown ball as a specific expression. As you yourself point out, there are many ways and objects that could have been used, so the thrown ball isn’t generic or fundamental. Talismans, guns, nets, staffs, cards, traps, wands, bottles, or any manner of spell would have worked (and made more sense within the magic-themed realm than a repainted pokeball).

    And, again, that’s only why Gamefreak could potentially sue (not the issue here). The reason Niantic can use the Apple App Store copyright infringement claim is because it exactly copied the specific expression Pokemon GO used for most aspects of the game.

    • Piotr Krzywicki

      I wish I could keep taking part in this discussion, but apparently Disqus doesn’t like when you post something more than emotion driven opinions. My post, in which I tried to explain why it isn’t so simple and I get a bit into interpretation (meaning, inspiration and prototype vs info directly from text) was deleted, and my previous post was marked as spam. Seems like Disqus is for arques and shtstorms, but not actual discussion…

      • GonzoI

        Typically the sort of upset post you just made stems from citing sources with links (which is one of the several reasons trolls ask for sources). Disqus is ok for casual discussion, but it’s not a place to attempt to give an argument the appearance of academic rigor.

        • Piotr Krzywicki

          Oh well, I was aware to not put any links in my post, as I’ve seen that it isn’t going well at my first attempt to cite Gamasutra article. I was just… long. And hadn’t tl;dr :/
          As for “academic rigor”, I wouldn’t call it that. Maybe it’s just question I am not used to internetz talkz, but was taught that opinion is simply statment, and argument needs explaination (and perfectly example too). Academic level discusion needs citization of everything and supporting thesis with other researchers works. My post was just refering to basics functioning as common sense and had few popculture examples, nothing more. I don’t evem feel confident enough with my English to write something as complicated as academic essay 😐

        • hkmaly

          Not directly relevant here, but I’m very surprised disqus doesn’t allow even links to same site. Big disadvantage if used as comment system under comics.

          • GonzoI

            Disqus does, but it allows sites to lock that down, which most do. Same site links are dangerous due to XSS.

    • hkmaly

      Everyone is talking about throwing the ball … I don’t think that is
      specific enough, and definitely not for Pokemon Go. However … why exactly the pillars in Draconius go needs to be spun? It’s very minor detail, but combined with the fact that it would be very hard to find what you are supposed to do with them without playing Pokemon Go … (no tutorial, just like it wasn’t originally in Pokemon Go).

      • GonzoI

        Pokemon GO did have a tutorial for it – Professor Willow told you how to spin them at the start. The reason I brought up the spinning pillars was not that the mechanic itself is an issue, but the net of ALL the copied functions makes it clearly derivative. The only copyright we know for certain that Niantic holds is to the game as a whole (it may own others, but the game as a whole is clearly being infringed here). Just map integration, the BS AR both games have, or catching monsters would not be infringement. The concept of catching monsters in a thrown ball is unique to Pokemon, and the specific expression in Pokemon GO is distinct enough that it alone could be argued as infringement, but when you couple that with duplication of almost every facet of the game so that it doesn’t just compete with Pokemon GO but replicates the entire game and then adds a few features, no lawyer in their right mind would have advised Elyand that it would be ok. (Notice in their statement of having consulted “world-class lawyers”, Elyand, not the lawyers they allegedly consulted, are the ones “certain” that the claim is unjustified.)

        As a general rule, companies don’t just say they talked to “world-class lawyers” when they are defending against a copyright infringement claim. They also don’t harp on how their copy did what the one accusing them failed to do (as this blatantly acknowledges the copying). What you have here is a statement made by someone who thinks bravado and public sentiment are going to win him through, when Niantic is currently up against a far smaller company whose adoption is demonstrably derived from Niantic’s own install base, making damages claims even easier and making the potential PR fallout to Niantic almost nonexistent. Most importantly, this isn’t an expensive international lawsuit that they might drag out long enough to establish themselves, this is an App Store infringement claim which Apple can act on unilaterally, and cut out a third of Draconius GO’s business. It’s a little trickier with Google Play Store, but this is entirely Elyand peeing in the wind and wondering why they’re getting wet.

        • hkmaly

          No it didn’t when it appeared first time. The tutorial was added later. It wasn’t there when I started playing. I needed to search the web to find out WTF I’m supposed to do.

          Also, seriously try the paper toss game. There isn’t that many ways how to throw ball with touchscreen.
          The throwing ball to capture monsters idea might actually belong to pokemon but the original, not Go.

          However, I agree that there are lot of details which are completely unnecessarily same in Draconius Go as in Pokemon Go.

          Also, good point, App Store infringement claim would be harder to counter than actual lawsuit.

          • GonzoI

            You’re throwing a ball with several mechanics in the throw (including curve ball and bounce-off behavior), at a location-placed monster with a readout over it that shows the name and CP, with the same buttons on the screen, the same ball count readout over the ball, the ball sparkling when you spin it, the ring system for showing the throw catch bonus, the same up-and-to-the-side positioning of the ball as it does the capture glow animation, the same glow-drop, the same shake animation, the same shower of sparks on capture, the same results summary display layout with the exact same features on it (including Stardust->Essence and Candy->Stones), then going to the exact same new pokedex entry screen (renamed “bestiary” and recolored blue), then transitioning to the same monster display with all the same underlying properties of a Pokemon GO pokemon but with a slight visual tweak to the screen that adds two often requested features (IV’s and DPS/EPS on moves). That’s a very specific expression of the idea that they copied in detail.

            None of this is necessary to Draconius GO’s theme. Unless they’re flat-out lying about not using Pokemon GO’s base code, they went to a lot of trouble to exactly replicate unnecessary details from Pokemon GO. If this were in court instead of Apple’s queue, that clear effort would be very helpful for Niantic’s lawyer.

          • hkmaly

            Wizards of the Coast called with their copyright on attack, defense and stamina.
            The shake animation is actually different and lot of that can be argued to be the most logical way of doing it (including bestiary). They would need to spend lot of effort if they wanted to be different as well. That said, maybe they should, because when you take all those details together it truly doesn’t look well for that “we are different” argumentation.

            For start, they should get rid of that stupid arc showing level and instead just write the number. The argumentation that the MONSTER SCREEN was not copied would be much harder that about the ball throwing.

          • GonzoI

            Attack, Defense and Stamina are one of several ways to design it, and would be fine on their own (long predates WotC), but is an area they could have distinguished.
            The shake animation looks the same to me, but even if it’s slightly different, it’s still a shake animation, keeping the pattern identical.
            Having a bestiary is logical, having an identical one with identical placement and transitions is not.

            Having some duplication makes sense from an effort perspective. You know the ball throw mechanics, monster targeting, visual indicators and button placement works because Niantic already spent the time and money developing and testing that. That’s why even without base code, these knockoffs are so much easier to develop. If they had just taken the functional parts and made a new look and feel, this would be in the same legal position that most knock offs are in. Breakout, for example, is cloned all the time, but while the mechanics are somewhat fixed in that limited game, everything else varies widely from clone to clone. That’s how “specific expression” is avoided.

            If they did write their own base code, they could easily have spent less effort duplicating the look and feel. The reason they duplicated it is the same reason look and feel falls under copyright infringement – It’s done to draw customers directly from the original to the copy. It’s almost explicitly stated in their response. They are Pokemon GO with the in demand features added.

          • hkmaly

            Predates WotC but WotC bought TSR and I’m not sure if it predates TSR. And no, I don’t think game like this could use different basic attributes ; like, what would wisdom be good for?

            The transition is logical and the bestiary contains very small amount of information, so the identical placement isn’t so weird. The monster screen, meanwhile, contains more information so the identical placement is suspicious.

            I think they could successfully argue that they never saw Pokemon Go and coded everything based just on players complains about it. Problem is, screenshots provided in those complains are still under copyright (although fair use when used just for illustration of complain).

            Also, yes, it’s very obvious they want to draw customers directly from the original to the copy. Starting with the game name. On the other hand drawing customers directly from competitor is allowed if you don’t break copyright doing that.

          • GonzoI

            It does predate TSR, but I don’t know if Chainmail is the first (in which case, TSR got ownership of it). Chainmail is derived from an earlier work that wasn’t published, so I don’t know if the same stats were involved.

            As for Draconius stats, the basic necessary stats are attack and HP. Everything else is an optional supporting stat. Defense supports HP directly, mana/magic/energy support actiins, etc. If it weren’t a direct copy, a mana system with multiple moves based on the region of the screen tapped would be the most logical (deriving from the RPG heritage rather than the strangely limited option Niantic opted for). The EPS->Charge system doesn’t fit the lore of either, which makes sense with Niantic trying to venture outside their genre, but not for a pure fantasy genre game. Defense isn’t even useful in GO since EVs aren’t present. It basically just creates gradiations in effective HP without the physical/special split, so not being able to invest in defense or HP situationally makes it useless to the design (just mindlessly copied).

            Going to the bestiary on capture is a logical option, but the specific transition is not in any way dictated by logic. The standard for mobile is a slide transition, and the standard for RPG is a pop screen. Given the styling of their art, a pop screen disguised as a book transition would have been logical.

            Frankly, had they not been copying an honestly amateur game design, Draconius GO could be a much better game. The central draw isn’t all these fiddling details they copied, it’s monster collection with real world placement. I don’t know the origin of the “(Trademark name) GO” pattern, but I assume that was fair game, and it’s all they needed to enter the market.

            If they had stuck with the mechanic that Pokemon’s specific expression in the main series is covering, where you actually battle the creature and then use a capture spell, it would have gotten rid of the whole frustration of missed throws. That’s the key facet that Niantic introduced in Pokemon GO, and while it fits Pokemon’s theme, it’s a poor game mechanic that doesn’t have lasting appeal.

          • hkmaly

            Depending on exact formulae, defense versus stamina might be about ability to survive lot of small attacks versus one big attack. Secondary maybe, useless not.

            Yeah multiple moves would definitely fit the genre more but might mean more work at development (not programming but assigning those moves and balancing). Also, it would fit the original pokemon more as well. Regarding charge, it’s something like limit break, not so much outside genre IMHO.

            (Ok … not sure if I paid attention to the specifics of that transition so much.)

            Totally agree that actually battling those monsters would be better. Even original Pokemon is doing that!

            … damn, why most ideas to get the game better are making it more like original pokemon? Maybe because original pokemon was developed better while Pokemon Go is mainly using already established brand?

          • GonzoI

            The original Pokemon is a simplified RPG. There’s a lot of trademarked names and specific expression that make it unique, but it’s still a fairly standard RPG gameplay.

            Defense vs Stamina only works with something acting differently on them. HP number healing spells rather than percentage, or spells that ignore defense, for example. If nothing ignores defense and there are no healing spells, as in Pokemon GO, defense is just uniformly applied in preserving HP. You can just multiply HP by the defense factor and get rid of defense altogether.

            As for more dev time balancing, you should have been correct. That comes back to the copyright. Those are the things that let them get to market faster because they didn’t develop them.

            But as I said, “should have been correct”. Neither game seems to have done actual move balancing, instead relying on getting the same monsters and movesets as “balance” with the vast majority being junk. Using this pattern, a 4+ move monster is easy. 1 damage over time spell, 1 heal over time spell, 1 big damage with long cooldown, 1 small damage with low cooldown, and a few in-between attack-cooldown tradeoffs. Make elemental copies of each, and let monsters get access to all of they’re type plus random 1 attack moves from the other types.

  • Zapmeister

    I’ve no interest in intellectual property claims or the names and shapes of the sprites. IMO, the only important quest is this: Is it a good game (as opposed to just a set of sprites to collect)?

  • Hank

    OMG What they Said here <3.
    ”In just one year, our Ukrainian team has managed to do more than Niantic, with all their billions of income. And we are proud of our results. Our graphic is unique and better quality than in any other AR games. Besides, our game offers a variety of game mechanics that were never used in other AR games.”

    Draconius keep IP the good work, i will support you. Niantics is worthless, and you proving that a Sam all company can do more and better things then a multi billionaire company. Niantic you *€|€~£• suck

  • Nick Wilson

    Honestly I love playing Pokemon go and will never stop at lvl 40. Excited about the future as slow as it might be. As they grow things will get better. They just need to focus on getting it better instead of this subject. Yes there will always be other games that’s the way of things NIANTIC get focused on bettering your brand bros…

  • CheeseBurgerandRamen

    I agree that Draconius Go has better features than Pokemon Go. It managed to add features that weren’t available in Pokemon Go. But there lies the issue– I think people are giving it too much credit. Mostly, the UI is a rip-off of Pokemon go. The catching of creatures, which includes a “Twisted Throw” aka. curve ball, is a gameplay mechanic ripped off from Pokemon Go.The company had a basis on WHAT to put thanks to Pokemon Go. Which meant that the planning stages are severely reduced when compared to Pokemon Go, which had nothing to start as their basis with regards to how the UI, pokestops, lures, eggs, etc would be implemented.

    Without Pokemon Go, let’s face it, Draconius Go wouldn’t be as nice at it would be right now. Note, this isn’t a hate post, but please think about how much credit you guys are actually giving Draconius Go. IMO Draconius Go is a more exciting game but only because it managed to rip-off lots of ideas from Pokemon Go.