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Chinese Knock-Offs Of 'Super Smash Bros.' And 'Splatoon' Can't Be Making Nintendo Happy

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When it comes to video games in China, nothing is sacred. As has been shown time and time again, Chinese developers are more than willing to copy, and sometimes lift wholesale, from popular video games in order to make a quick buck.

It's easy to do, and because of China's lax copyright laws, there's little companies outside of the country can do about having their characters and games used without their permission.

Such is the case with two recent mobile games that are blatant rip-offs of Nintendo properties. One is called Pocket All-Stars Smash Bros., and it lifts all its imagery and characters directly from Nintendo's iconic playbook. It's even named after Nintendo's popular Super Smash Bros. fighting game, though it plays far differently. Rather than being a multiplayer brawler, the Chinese Super Smash Bros. rip-off is instead a turn-based, card-battling game where players level up various Nintendo characters and duke it out.

Everything, from the world map, to the interface, to the characters themselves, is all Nintendo. Despite the Smash Bros. name, it looks more like a sequel to one of Nintendo's Mario RPG games, albeit one that also features non-Nintendo characters like Mega Man.

Nintendo's popular kid-friendly shooter Splatoon has also received the Chinese knock-off treatment. Yet another mobile game, this one in particular is perhaps even more blatant, not only copying the look of Splatoon, but its gameplay elements as well. Teams of four battle it out to paint areas of the map their color, and it even features the squid characters and player customization for which Splatoon is known.

It has got to be frustrating on Nintendo's part that the company is largely unable to crack down on these kinds of games. After all, somebody is making big bucks capitalizing off of Nintendo's decades of hard work. While there is likely some way Nintendo can have the projects shut down, doing so likely isn't easy. As a result, games like this continue to pop up. 

Nintendo is far from the only recent victim of China's lax copyright laws. Blizzard's popular shooter Overwatch recently saw a Chinese rip-off as well, though it appears that publisher Activision managed to take some form of legal action against the project (or at least had videos of the game removed from YouTube). You can read more about that here.

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