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Clone

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In the computer and video game industry, a clone is a game or game series which is very similar to or heavily inspired by a previous popular game or game series. Some genres are founded by such archetypical games that all subsequent similar games are thought of as derivatives.

The term is sometimes derogatory, implying a lack of originality, but clones can be anything from a pure "ripoff", to a legitimate derivative or improvement on the original, or even a homage to it.

In the 1980s, making a clone of a game was not illegal, provided no outright copyright violation or trademark infringement was involved, but as the gaming market grew, large developers felt the need and ability to sue the developers of clones which were too similar to originals [1]. These look and feel lawsuits, such as Apple v. Microsoft, are not common, but remain an option for developers who feel their franchises are at risk.

Some examples of games cloned by CoCo developers include

Pac-Man

Donkey Kong

Space Invaders

Popeye