Last week-end, July 9 2021, a follower of my Discord community brought my attention to an article written by Inverse [ read it here ]. As soon as I began to read the introduction, my heart began to skip beats because it already felt like a bad omen. It didn’t took long for me to realize that Fantasian’s new take on random encounters is uncannily similar to the one I designed for Eternal Eden, to the point where plagiarism was my only thought. I hurried to watch some walkthroughs of Fantasian on YouTube and it was painful to see how identical the core concept was like mine. How in the world can my unique twist be in another game, not just anyone’s game but legendary Final Fantasy creator himself? Hironobu Sakaguchi is one of the most respected game producers.
You can find my reaction and followers’ responses on my Discord [ starting here ]. I thank my followers for cheering me up in my depressing mood. It’s definitely not a situation I wish other developers to experience; you work on a game for a very long period of time, you think your ingenious idea is safe in your mind, and then someone else abruptly steal your thunder in a way you can’t explain. What made me feel so depress is it will be hard for me to praise my concept as totally brand new now, most people will assume I’m lazily re-using someone else idea.
Of course, my objective isn’t to throw unfunded accusations. I wish the best for Mistwalker, especially if they’re not to blame. I have fond memories of Lost Odyssey. Those short fable-like stories were remarkable. I was sad when they decided to make games exclusive for cell phones and gradually faded away on old fans’ radar. It seems they needed a way to reinvent themselves, and if plagiarism is behind this insane coincidence then, as a Christian, I’ll leave it in God’s hands; nothing can be hidden from God’s sight and God is the best judge for any unresolved transgression on this earth. Yet, I prefer to believe that two honest, creative developers living oppositely on the globe came with the same solution in a similar time period to resolve a long overdue problem with random encounters. I know for a fact that synchronicity can surprise us in a mind-blowing way in this world.
The reason I’m writing this article is because fans of Fantasian or the developers themselves may too assume I ripped off their random encounter concept once my game is released, which will be unfair to me. I’m not a lazy developer and I’m worked as best as I can to bring new ingredient that make old school games feel new. I had revealed my unique random encounter twist on October 5th 2018, more than two years ago, on my blog [ read it here ], before Fantasian was even announced officially. It’s important I mention I made that article available exclusively for backers of my game projects, which may reduce the probability of plagiarism in some way, but I also gave access to anyone asking to read it without looking for credentials; I even gave my game for free when people didn’t have money to buy it, that’s generally the way I behave with my audience. The Wayback Machine website proves my article indeed existed two years ago. I also have a Twitter and Facebook post from 2018 pointing to that article. All in all, I only want to make sure that everyone understand, when time comes, this twist on the random encounter concept is also the product of my own creativity, despite this weird occurrence. It’s one of the ace cards I kept under my sleeve to secure the success of my newest old-school jRPG. I just can’t cancel it after so much involvement; that will literally ruin me.
On the bright side, my random encounter concept includes an additional mechanism that makes it stand apart from the one used in Fantasian. Of course, Fantasian’s diorama concept is spectacular which is a unique feature belonging to them, everyone should purchase Fantasian right away on their iPhone. To conclude, I pray everything goes exceptionally well and smoothly for both Blossomsoft (my game label) and Mistwalker.