Indonesian Flash Game Stolen and Copied, Turned Into iPhone and Android App [UPDATED]
Indonesian game developer Elventales Studio has found that its S40 and Flash-based game Chase Burger has been copied and published on iOS and Android under the name Hungry Chase, by May Games. The game developer affected by this wholesale piracy has not only filed a report to Apple regarding this , but is also trying to raise awareness of the theft.
[UPDATE 8 hours after posting: Good news! The cloned game has been removed from Google Play totally, and we think it's gone from every country's iOS App Store as well. That was quick justice].
Friends of the developer are also helping out by posting negative reviews of the cloned game in the iTunes store. One writes: “You hijack my friends game. Garbage!” Another comments: “This game hijack from Elventales [...] original game only for Flash game and Nokia.”
Funnily enough, the copied game even still has the Elventales Studio logo in its iPhone and Android incarnation. Is this somehow a way for the copier to pay tribute to the real game developer, or maybe the copycat developer was simply too lazy to change anything else besides the title and the thumbnail picture? Here’s the genuine game (pictured below, left) side-by-side with the ripped-off version (pictured below, right):
The copied game on iTunes is uploaded by someone named Zhang Huimei. We are not sure if that is even the copycat developer’s real name as we couldn’t find many details about that person or about May Games in general. Its website is just a free blog that’s mostly blank. The developer’s email address is: email@example.com.
Kompas cites Mahdi Basroni Rizal, the CEO of Elventales Studio, as saying that they had just found out about the iOS copy on November 1st, one day after the copycat game was published on iTunes. The team is now working to resolve it by filing a report to the Apple App Store.
This is not the first time that an Indonesian game developer has had its games copied and published illegally. The popular Flash-based game Infectonator 2, made by Toge Productions, was copied and published on Android by someone named Hasan Akruyek back in May. Not long after Toge Productions and its partner ArmorGames.com released an official statement about the hijack, the ripped-off Infectonator was taken down from Google Play, and gradually from other app directories such as AndroidZoom.
We saw a similar incident involving another copied game by a Chinese studio recently. On that occassion the Chinese studio had the decency, in the end, to apologize and remove the game of their own accord. We hope that this will help get across the message that copying someone else’s game is never a good idea – and to avoid downloading the cruelly ripped-off Hungry Chase game.
Elventales is seemingly not aware of the same cloner making an Android version, and so has not yet reported it to Google. We’ve contacted the developer to point this out. ↩