After a bunch of clever Russian programmers started creating their own Portal for Android last month using the Unity 3D engine and Valve's assets, the news got picked up and spread through the Internet like wildfire. It all seemed too good to be true, but the initial demo was playable, and as I was monitoring the development thread, I saw how quickly progress was being made. The developers were literally recreating the Portal world at a phenomenal pace, and things were looking up.

The cake turned out to be a lie after all, once Valve got wind of the project. In fact, the main developer, tibers28, tried to contact the company himself to get its blessing almost from the get-go and continued to develop while waiting for a reply. When it finally arrived, a few levels have already been pretty much completed, and work was being done on the portal gun itself - a highly complex concept that requires deep knowledge of math.

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), Valve's legal team wasn't as excited about tibers28's work as all of us were. Its response:


Thank you for contacting us about this. Yes, we do mind if you make your game playable on mobile devices.

Lisa R. Werner


Legal Team

And just like that, the project was over:

Проект окончательно закрыт - The project is decisively closed

Kaput. Finished. The development thread is now closed, and the devs moved on to other fun things. I completely understand Valve's decision, and the idea of a Portal clone on Android was fun while it lasted, but for now we'll have to either wait for the real thing or flying pigs, whichever comes first. Bummer.


Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/ Kendal Gergis

    Of course... can't wait for the day that "code" un-license-able as it is as "real" as the color blue.

  • VonLaserface

    One can only hope Valve takes a good look at what this talented crew accomplished and embraces the demand by giving us an official version.

  • Randy

    Wow, their response was short and to the point. Kinda seems like a F*** you kinda response to me.

  • Jake Weisz

    For one thing, I think he would've gotten far more support from them if he was porting the Source engine or using Source.

    Unity is a direct competitor to Valve, in addition to the fact that he's taking their IP.

  • Saurabh

    They should just hire him and have him make it for them.

  • Deltaechoe

    Lol call it wormhole and change the names and solve the "wormhole" equations with another method (yes it is possible) and you have a new game and no legal fodder

    • Deltaechoe

      Don't forget to use public domain models and inverted levels lol

  • Quartex

    I think valve should learn from lucas-arts. When the SCUMM virtual machine was released the legal team was all over it. But the end of the story was - george lucas himself gave the "thumbs up" to allow it. Some of the old programmers even decided to donate old game files so the games could be played again using the emulator.

    We just got contacted by atari for a re-make of "missile command" ... people should tell the difference between a rip off and a dedication. The copyright/trademark has gone to far. Just look at what apple is doing to samsung. Ridicules.

  • Hiram Lester

    Wow... very rude and unprofessional. I understand the reason, but I find it hard to believe that a legal department responded in such a manner.

    • Calum

      Personally, I find it rather refreshing. Much better than the legalese you normally have to decipher from legal departments.

      • Calum

        (And anyway, what were they expecting the response to be... "Sure, go ahead and do whatever you like with some of our most valuable IP"?)

  • R

    more like Lisa D. Weiner.. I'm sure many people understand the reasoning behind the decision but I believe they could have come up with a better response. They might as well have said "No, F U" - legal team

  • Sean

    I'm waiting for Valve to take in the developer (s) that made this. It'd be extremely unlike them to leave it at this.

  • http://www.newarkdesigns.com Jeff Feely

    Ironically, the reply is useless in a legal sense. Someone from a legal team should know better.

    Yes we mind and would love it if you make a clone of our product.

    Yes we mind and demand you cease and desist from making a clone of our product.

    I say keep making the product until they send a properly worded legal request.

  • Dustin

    Valve and Steam should seriously consider hiring the team at least just for this project, then they could release it to the Steam app as a first to possibly more android apps to get through Steam.

  • wgasa

    has anyone else considered the possibility that they're already working on the game? even the possibility they're already working on their own app store..?

    • Franky

      That would at least explain why they didn't just put a price-tag on it, feed some breadcrumbs of the revenue to the dedicated developers and call it a win-win-situation.

  • Chris

    Couldn't they just make their own levels up, and use different textures so that it is not directly like Portal?
    Yes the idea of teleporters is still the same, but surely Valve doesn't hold the copyright of that?

    • phly95

      That's what Portalizer did, and it works really well

  • tibers

    Hi guys I am writing in Google. As I see you're upset about the fact that I closed the project but do not despair, I gathered the normal command and now doing the game, a puzzle, it will also be in 3D.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      This reply seems legit, based on IP anyway. Not sure what the whole Google thing is about though.

  • Tibers28
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Why now - what changed?

  • Tibers28
  • Tibers28
  • Tibers28
  • phly95

    Portalizer works better anyway and is on the Play Store, so I don't mind too much.