Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That is an old and tired expression I don’t very much care for. It’s certainly true for some forms of entertainment, such as when a drag queen models herself after an actress or singer. Perhaps, had I grown up in an earlier era of society, I would agree with the sentiment or at the very least not roll my eyes when I hear somebody utter those words.
But I live in the era of YouTube and the App Store. Imitation isn’t a sincere form of flattery there, but rather an astute business model where companies and individuals copy and paste original ideas before adding in a few of their own elements and passing it off as something new. It’s how Threes becomes 2048, Mars Argo becomes Poppy, and Pokémon GO becomes Garfield GO.
It’s equal parts funny and sad how so many apps look like the exact same goddamn game. Right now, in Google Play, two titles -- Origins of an Empire and The Great Ottomans -- are up for preregistration and, gun to my head, I couldn’t fucking tell you the difference between them. Get a few beers in me and I couldn’t pick them out from Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, Clash of Kings, Game of Thrones: Conquest, or any of the other log-in-and-win strategy games raking in the dough. A month from now, after it’s long been deleted from my tablet, I’ll probably be saying the same thing about Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians.