Apple clamps down on iOS game clones – from one developer, anyway


Apple struck a blow against video game clones today by removing several offending apps from one rather prolific independent developer.Among the removed games are apps such as Plant vs. Zombie, Angry Ninja Birds, and Temple Jump, each of which (as you might guess from their titles) had more than a little in common with with major titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds, and Temple Run, respectively.

Obviously the problem is from more than one developer, but it’s good to see Apple starting to take a proactive approach to getting rid of these. Game clones aren’t just a problem among shifty indie developers trying to make a quick buck, though – Gameloft and other major publishers have been accused of the same. How Apple handles these situations will be a broader test of this policy.

  • I don’t think I’d characterize this as “proactive”. It seems like the affected developers, and much of the blogging community, have been complaining about this for a while…

    • Anonymous

      Keep in mind that Apple gets hundreds, if not thousands of new apps daily that have to be reviewed. And no one reviewer can know every app or have gone through them in detail. And equally they probably get hundreds of emails daily, so it could simply take a while for them to get to the one that says “hey that’s a copy of my thing”. 

      Except of course if you are a major developer. Those guys and gals likely know the phone number or have a separate email. So now when the submissions could be lighter cause everyone wanted to take advantage of the holidays it is easier for Apple to clean up. Who knows what they have done that hasn’t gotten press cause the copiers didn’t cry foul on the web or it wasn’t a major name that could be dropped for page hits. 

      • “Except of course if you are a major developer. Those guys and gals likely know the phone number or have a separate email.” not necessarily. I work for a leading international science and research organization, and we get absolutely no special treatment from Apple. I reckon it’s the reason why some big game dev’s are also crying fowl, but so far their cry’s have fallen on deaf ears (or blind email monkeys…). It will be interesting to see how strictly Apple gets on top of this. But I agree, it’s good that they are at least making a start in (hopefully) rectifying part of the problem.