FortressCraft is, in this writer’s opinion, an obvious knockoff of one of the greatest and most successful indie games to come out in a very, very long time. Minecraft, designed by Markus “Notch” Persson and Mojang, was basically studied, copied and represented for the Xbox LIVE Indie Channel Marketplace. The kicker? It’s been doing well.

Kotaku reports that FortressCraft is the highest grossing Xbox LIVE Indie Channel game of all time. Projector Games, the company behind the product, has stated that they’ve sold more than 350,000 copies. That’s earned them a gross of more than $1 million.

Ars Technica ran a great piece two weeks ago concerning the world of Minecraft clones. More specifically, the author of the editorial examined both blatant copies and games inspired by the Minecraft premise. Within that feature, Ars managed to snag some quotes from Notch himself concerning the copycats, inspirations and homages. Here’s what the Swedish developer had to say:

“Both FortressCraft and Terraria appear to be inspired by Minecraft, which in turn was inspired by many other games, including InfiniminerDwarf Fortress, and Dungeon Keeper. However, I do not believe you can achieve something great or interesting by merely attempting to emulate something successful. It becomes especially embarrassing if you publicly deny any inspiration when it’s painfully clear how much of a copy it is.

Terraria is an amazing game, and if Minecraft is any inspiration for it, I feel proud to be part of its lineage. I play it frequently, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for it. FortressCraft is an obvious attempt to just take something popular and clone it as closely as possible. I still think it’s important that people are allowed and able to do things like that, but it’s hardly graceful.”

As a fan of the gaming industry and, specifically, Minecraft, I’m rooting against the copycats. They do little to spur creativity and genre exploration. I also find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with what Notch said above.

Minecraft will be releasing for Xbox LIVE soon enough. That ought to put a dent in FortressCraft‘s success.

[via Kotaku]