After getting shut down once, you’d have thought the developers might have learned a lesson or two.

Splatoon has garnered so many fans across the world that some have even resorted to stealing trucks loaded with copies of them.

Painting huge swathes of ink everywhere, the little squid-like humanoids have certainly made their mark on gaming history, to the extent that some unsavory developers sought to duplicate the game’s incredible success.

A rip-off app by the name of Sepia GO! for mobile phones was released in China back in 2016, but was quickly shut down due to its uncanny likeness to the original Splatoon. From graphics to gameplay elements, almost everything in Sepia GO! was blatantly copied over:

▼ This is the real Splatoon

▼ …while this was Sepia GO!

You’d have to admit that the developers of Sepia GO! had the guts to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes like that. Nintendo isn’t one for such jokes, however, and moved quickly to cease its distribution.

To make up for their mistakes, the developers vowed to start afresh with different character designs and maps. Progress has reportedly been swift, and the game seemed ready to take on a world that once dared looked down upon it.

▼ But alas, the only people the developers were fooling
were themselves, as the new Sepia GO! trailer shows.

Sure the characters look different and there’s a new map, but it’s a stretch to call it an “original game” by any means, when everything from graphic overlays to gameplay elements like diving into ink to avoid foes remain exactly the same.

Sepia GO! developers have not found a
willing publisher (read victim) yet.

Japanese netizens weren’t particularly impressed with the rip-off:

“The animation is so clunky that it’s funny.”
“A leopard can’t change its spots.”
“If they have the skills to copy everything, why don’t they have the skills to make something original?”
“Even if it’s a great game, a knockoff’s a knockoff.”
“This is really bad.”

At least we know for a fact that Splatoon can run on smartphones, and a round of good ol’ ink splashing while waiting for the train sounds like the perfect way to kill time. Nintendo should probably get on making their own official smartphone release, since this isn’t even the first time Splatoon has been blatantly copied before.

Source: Automaton via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@riffraff_NM
Insert image: Pakutaso