Here’s why I cannot steal your game idea even if you want me to

Some reasons:

  • I don’t care about your idea: I don’t mean to be harsh, but… I have plenty of ideas. Why would I care about your idea?
  • If I’d wanna steal a proven game idea, I’d clone [insert random hit game here] and do something bit differently: There’s proven selling games out there already, so I really don’t care about your idea.
  • I would have to change it anyway: One of the most fun things in game development is working on *my* idea. I wanna do *my* ideas. My my my. I don’t want *your* idea. I want mine.
  • Your idea isn’t that new or unique: Let’s say you have killer idea. That’s cool and all, but it’s already been done. There is some game out there with same or similar idea. It’s been done in some ways. Your idea is not that new. Mine isn’t either, but it’s easier to lie to myself about this.
  • It’s the implementation that counts: Minecraft’s idea is not new. There was plenty of games that had the similar idea. Minecraft was done somewhat differently, with different perspective. In the way developer wanted. It was his work on that idea that counted.
  • We all have ideas already, and new coming: If we focus on getting ideas, it’s pretty simple. We can check out Kongregate, we can check out Steam, Big Fish Games, AppStore and many other places, filled with games to get ideas. We can check tv, outdoors and whatnot. They too are filled with ideas. Ideas are cheap to come up with. Making the idea into reality, that’s different story. Quiz for you. Which one of these takes more time: (A) come up with an idea about a mmorpg where hundred billion people shoot ninjas with lasers, or (B) make that idea happen.
  • Even if I’d want to steal your idea, I cannot: no matter how much you explain to me the game idea – I don’t 100% get it. I miss at least 1% of what you meant and would do something differently. And then it wouldn’t be your idea anymore, as you wanted something else, I something else.
  • But most importantly: I don’t want your idea. I have “my” own idea. I wanna do my ideas, not your ideas. Okay?

Indies are egoistic.

And that’s a good thing.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Isn’t one major point in developing an idea into a viable design borrowing from other’s ideas? I mean exactly the a bit there a piece here style… Most ideas are bad from the get-go, but after thinking it further, preferably with other people (like brainstorm), you can turn a bad idea into a brilliant one, with those minor adjustments, piece by piece, often “borrowing” in your opinion the best qualities from other’s ideas.

    Allthough, I do believe it is often from succesful completed games we borrow ideas from instead of the unfinished ideas we hear or read (as they haven’t been really proven to have looked qualities).

  2. Gotta admit there’s a point in that talk. Although, “the more detail you add…” also means that the less room there is for *my* own ideas. I think bits and pieces can be stolen

  3. I disagree.

    Don’t care about my idea? Let’s ignore this as to be able to steal my idea, I figure you are reading it in some manner and therefore have some interest related to it.

    Would rather clone a hit game idea? I see two problems with this: 1) Anything new and therefore unclonable is valuable and 2) The “a bit differently” is also a target

    Would have to change it anyway? So now you’d steal it and change it?…. isn’t that what I wanted to avoid in the first place?

    It’s not new or unique? Where was the portal gun before Narbacular Drop was made? Something’s gotta be new at some point.

    Implementation is what counts? Well yeah, but again this is a matter of detail. If we both made “a racing game”, our implementations would be vastly different. However, the problem is when we both make “a racing game that is played on a single screen using only machine guns as weapons”. The more details you add to the game idea, the less room for differences in implementation, and that leaves you with two games sharing a very similar space.

    We all have ideas already? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have room on your plate for more! Maybe you really like my idea for a racing game that plays like guitar hero and you adopt the control scheme to another genre, or take just an idea for a hud and apply it to your game… doesn’t that weaken my idea as well? It doesn’t have to be the whole idea.

    There isn’t enough detail given to steal? Most of the time, I agree.

    The point is that I enjoy the planning/designing phase of making games and have many ideas, but I also choose to supplement my arsenal by playing anything from genre staples to indie nobodies. I never take whole ideas, but I commonly take features and adapt them for my own use.

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