After Swing Copters – the successor to Flappy Bird – was revealed in a YouTube video on Monday, Google Play was flooded by clones of the new game. The deluge of games appearing got out of control, and Google has now acted by removing hundreds of the copycat efforts from its digital store.
Clones had started to appear on Google Play even before the original game had been released. The quantity of lookalike titles in the Play Store meant that it was very difficult to track down the official version of the game by searching for it.
Many users were left frustrated at having downloaded a bug-ridden copycat, but were unaware that it was not the official version that they were attempting to play. The level of confusion was highlighted by the large number of disappointed reviews that had been posted.
After a sneak preview of Swing Copters was uploaded to YouTube by iOS gaming website Touch Arcade, some developers set about trying to create copycat versions, even before they had played the original.
The process of creating a clone was made more straightforward by Swing Copters’ design. The YouTube video clearly showed that the same distinctive graphics that were made famous by Flappy Bird were also the basis for the new title.
The video also gave a reasonable indication of Swing Copters’ game play, which further aided those who were seeking to rush out clones.
It is not known whether any of the Swing Copters clones contained malware. However, it is likely that many developers mere simply motivated by potential ad revenue.
Doug Nguyen, the Vietnamese developer behind Swing Copter, has previously said that he was making $50,000 (€38,000/£30,000) per day from Flappy Bird.
[via The Guardian]