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received an intellectual property infringement notice from the Windows Phone Store and Wheel of Wealth will have to be unpublished.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 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 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.