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Wheel of Wealth to be pulled from the Windows Phone Store

Wheel of Wealth

We received some disheartening news today concerning the Windows Phone game Wheel of Wealth. The developer has received an intellectual property infringement notice from the Windows Phone Store and Wheel of Wealth will have to be unpublished.

Odd that this comes on the heels of Sony releasing the "official" Wheel of Fortune game. You can't help but wonder if Sony can't handle the competition of a similar game.

Wheel of Wealth

Wheel of Wealth game screens

In looking at the two games, both are conceptually similar as far as game play goes.  You spin a wheel, guess a letter and solve the puzzle for the pretend prize money.  But how many other games are conceptually similar to other games that are available in the Windows Phone Store? We have a ton of hangman styled games, find-a-word games, jumper games and other genres where game play is identical or very close to it. 

What sets games with similar or identical game play apart is the differences in design and features.  Differences that are present with Wheel of Wealth and Wheel of Fortune.  For example, Wheel of Wealth has an online, multi-player feature while Wheel of Fortune relies on a pass/play multi-player option.  The Wheel of Fortune has customizable avatars and the general appearance of the two games, while similar, are different.

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune game screens

Granted there could be some copyright issues present that we aren't aware of that protects some aspect of the game concept so we'll let the review process do it's thing and hope for the best.  But on the surface, you can't help but raise an eyebrow at these developments.  

Wheel of Wealth developers are looking into options to keep the game available but should the game disappear, anyone who has already installed Wheel of Wealth can continue playing the game. Just don't uninstall it.

Hopefully the differences can be ironed out because Wheel of Wealth is a nice, free game for your Windows Phone. For the time being, you can find Wheel of Wealth here at the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Wheel of Wealth

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Reader comments

Wheel of Wealth to be pulled from the Windows Phone Store

39 Comments

You should try my free game Puzzlement, similar premise (word puzzles), slightly different play style, but without all that infringement. :)
It's still in an open beta stage of development, but I'm actively working on it and would love to get more people playing and giving me feedback.
http://www.saltycactus.com/puzzlement/

Just downloaded it. Such a cool game. I'll let you know if I find any problems or have any suggestions. Seems perfect so far. And I'm already in first. :P

Never understood people who obviously have the talent to make games but copy someone else's. Make something original.

Uh most games and movies are copied to an extent. If companies ignore Windows phones I personally appreciate devs who fill in the blank. Sirius radio is shunning windows. I'm very thankful that satrad fills the void.

The game was meant to fill a void in the market. All platforms have clones of games. WP has a dozen scrabble style games

YUP...I saw this one coming!  However, rather than whine about it I would like to see MS be proactive and ban ALL of the IP infringing crap apps.  This was a decent app, but many others arent and they trick users into thinking they are the real deal.  Then when the user has an inferior experience it causes them to have a negative opinion of Windows Phone and the original app brand.

Wheel of Wealth has always stated its just based on the show, and that's the reason we gave it a more distinct name too

Well I don't have any faith in sony games. I purchase jeopardy and haven't been able to downlaod it yet.

I'm not surprised.  When I first played Wheel of Wealth I figured it was only a matter of time until the hammer was brought down. 

Maybe they just have to make some minor adjustments to the game and they can re-release it, possibly under a different title.

There wasn't any complaints about the name. We plan to make some in game changes and release via an update once we get the ok. We are meeting with lawyers today to discuss and to cover ourselves with the update

Considering WoWealth looks about as an exact copy of the look of the show as you can get, I'm surprised it wasn't pulled a long time ago. It's not the name that infringes, it's the game itself.

When I first tried this game, I knew this was gonna happen.  But, I'm sure if they were to just change the look and feel of the game, they could keep it.  No point in putting all their hard work to waste. :)

This sucks big time. I've been playing WoW for a long time now. I understand why Sony would do this, but it sucks that they would forcibly remove a competitor with a better (and FREE) product instead of competing on the merits of the products. WoW blows the official WoF out of the water.

Immediately downloaded if for no other reason than to give the finger to Sony. Why can't we just live and let live. I know, I know, copyright and all that but honestly its just as bad as the goddamm patent wars.

What's "disheartening" or "odd" about it? They completely ripped off existing IP. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

Ripping off their IP would be calling it wheel of fortune. You can't copyright a game idea, their complaint is that the game looks similar, so that is what we are changing (and granted it does). When a big corporation like Sony neglects a platform like WP, that's when people make an alternative. And then when it suits Sony, that's when they take action. We actually tried to purchase rights to the ip just for Windows Phone 6 months ago, and Sony wasn't interested in WP

Been playing Wheel of Wealth since this game came out as a beta and love playing it especially against others from around the world. But I have a problem with Sony and others that may come to the platform and start complaining about games that are similiar but have some very distinct differences. However, my biggest issue is this when the windows phone 7 platform was introduce they snubbed it and the people that use it just to ride on the coattails of other OS's. Fast forward to the present the OS's is gaining some traction with the possibility of gaining more in the coming months, android will be facing litigation hell from apple, and apple has introduced a predictably high demand update with a very minimal enhancements. Given the nature of users now it will take a minute for the fans to come around to the new hardware but with the designs by HTC, Samsung and Nokia there should be a significant shift in the upcoming months. But enough with the rant back to my original thought, the bottom line is that for Sony to move in and possibly cause issues for Wheel when they did not even want to be a part of the os from the beginning is complete and total load of bull. Games like this should be place into a pioneer category that's reserved for developers that were part of the ecosystem in it's early days and should be protected from these type of buttheads.

Nothing you say makes any difference. The law is the law. You can't build a game based on IP you don't own. What Sony chooses to do with its IP is up to Sony.

The law is a very fine line as to what you can and can't do. The game doesn't claim to be wheel of fortune. We are changing over some graphics and removing sound effects as well as changing 1 key element of game play to distinguish the games

Like many others here i've been playing WoW since the beta, still play pretty regularly.  I'm a big fan of the game show, and obviously WoW was a clone of it, but it was the only option for a long time, and now that the official app is out, it is still loads better than the crap Sony ported over to Windows Phone.  
Shantek has put a lot of work into their game and is a very dedicated developer.  Maybe Sony will get their heads out of their ass and work with Shantek to better their game and get the multiplayer into theirs.  But that would be in a perfect world where the big corporation actually had a heart.

Thanks for the kind words :) we have a big loyal user base so the game won't be going any where :) we will keep everyone updated on the progress

Has anyone thought it MIGHT be more of a case similar to Linked In, where maybe Sony will actually hire the team responsible and "share the Wealth" as it were and improve the official game with those features? I'd say everyone wins there! =P