It’s easier to create a clone of a clone of a good game than something original is running an interview with Jason Kapalka, the founder of PopCap Games. Among other things he spells out what a visit to any site with a collection of little Flash games should tell you: People make cheap clones of existing games because it’s easier than coming up with something new.

The truth is that very few games are developed without reference to past games. There’s always going to be titles that build on a previous mechanic or game. But there’s a fine line between that and very bold-faced rip-offs that aren’t adding anything to the game and are just trying to make a quick buck. There’s games like that in the hardcore gaming market of course, but the problem in the casual space is that the investment in resources can be a lot less. So a three person studio isn’t going to build a knock-off of Warcraft. But they could crank out a clone of Bejewelled in a few months. The barrier to entry is a lot lower so you get a lot more of it.

He says a lot more slightly less obvious things. Certainly worth a read.

Link! to the entire interview (