"what do you think about us copying the game?"

Howard Tsao of Muse Games on publishing Guns of Icarus Online, blogging on Gamasutra:

Part of our embodiment of steampunk was to infuse it with influences from cultures of the world. In their attempt to exploit this, the publisher then asked for “stereotypes” of different cultures. Reason? They claimed that stereotypes are more easily distinguishable. We thought this was flirting with racism, but once again, the publisher claimed to know better. The art style that we settled on was more in the spirit of Miyasaki or early Final Fantasy games. That is not inherently a bad thing; it’s just not what we wanted or agreed to. We decided to make a compromise to keep the relationship going.

With the project hanging in the balance, teetering on collapse, I made the trip to Taiwan. After a day of sitting in a claustrophobic meeting room, it came down to either accept an extended prototype with the lower pay or be terminated. We decided to terminate and get out of the contract and the relationship. Then, I got a phone call from the publisher’s CTO. On the phone, he posed this question: ‘If you wanted to go through with termination, what do you think about us copying the game?’

Hooked after part 1. Looking forward to parts 2 thru 5.