A fake version of Studio MDHR's popular animated platform shooter, "Cuphead," appeared on the App Store on Monday, drawing attention to the problem of copycat mobile apps.
The release was confirmed as bogus in an email to AppleInsider from Studio MDHR's Director of Experience, Ryan Moldenhauer. The fake app is still available, and $4.99, whereas the original Xbox and Windows versions are $19.99 apiece.
"We don't have any message other than that we would like to warn 'Cuphead' fans that it is not legitimate, and that we are working on having the infringing app removed," Moldenhauer told AppleInsider.
A bogus website was set up for the title, that still says that an iOS version is "coming soon."
In the real "Cuphead," one or two players take on a series of lengthy boss fights, intermixed with occasional side challenges. Much of the attention around the game has revolved around its hand-animated art, done in the style of 1930s cartoons like Max Fleischer's. The game also has an original jazz soundtrack, which hit ninth place on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
The game has garnered a reputation as being one of the most difficult action games available, even in its Simple mode.
Popular games are often imitated on the App Store, but direct thefts are less common. It is not clear how the malicious version passed Apple's reviews process.
Update: The developer has succeeded in the bid to get the title removed. AppleInsider suggests anyone who may have purchased the app to request a refund from Apple through the normal channels.