Cuphead, the 1930's style run-and-gun platformer from Studio MDHR, has gained all kinds of success from its release earlier this year. As with any great success, there are many eager to capitalize on it's success, even those who have nothing at all to do with the project. Earlier today a fake iOS port appeared on the iTunes store before being swiftly taken down.
The iOS store page listed Cuphead for $4.99 and that the company that had developed and uploaded it were StudioMDHR, the legitimate developer of the game. The price, selling for less than half the current retail price, as well as the relatively small download size were instant tipoffs for those questioning the validity. The support page listed for the app also redirected to a complete copy of the official Cuphead game website with the addition of a BestBuy advertising banner on the top, and a pop up when you load the page announcing that the game would be coming to iOS soon.
There is a Cuphead imposter app on the iOS store -- this is a scam. We are working on removing the fraudulent app ASAP!— Studio MDHR (@StudioMDHR) December 18, 2017
It was shortly after Studio MDHR tweeted out the above message that the iOS page disappeared with the website following before too long, now redirecting to a 404 page.
This is certainly not the first time that something like this has happened to a popular franchise and most likely not be the last. Creator of Mount Your Friends Daniel Steger added to the discussion pointing out that there are plenty of Cuphead themed apps on the Google Play Store. There is a bit of difference in these cases as none of these companies are posing as the real developers, and they seem to be a mix of guides, songs from the game, wallpapers, and more.
We reached out to Studio MDHR for any further comment on the situations asking if they planned to follow up with any kind of action and Ryan Moldenhauer supplied us with the following statement.
We constantly find Cuphead ripoff games on the iOS storefront, but this is the first time someone has tried to directly sign up under our actual company name and sell a fraudulent version of our game. It's unfortunate because it's time consuming for us to have to keep contacting the storefronts to get them to remove these frauds. We don’t want fans to think it's our stuff – because it isn’t and it could possibly be malicious.We have also reached out to the party who registered the fake Cuphead website for additional comments on this matter and will be sure to update as they come in.
What do you think of someone being able to publish under another companies name on iTunes? Do you think the similar titles on the Play Store are just as bad? What kinds of precautions do you think could be put in place to stop this kind of issue?