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It’s the week before Christmas, and what just appeared? An iOS port of Cuphead — but unauthorized, it’s clear.

Billed on Apple’s iOS App Store as direct from Cuphead’s indie developers Studio MDHR, what initially looked to be an official port of the award-winning Xbox One and PC run-and-gunner was actually a “scam,” MDHR says. The game was submitted to and approved by Apple, without MDHR’s permission. Apple pulled the game from the store a few hours after many noticed the scam this morning.

Curious Cuphead fans would have been disappointed by the iOS clone. Priced at $5, it weighed 1.9GB and was a glitchy “repackaging” of the PC game, hastily retrofitted with basic virtual controls. From the opening video to the gameplay, the title’s famed 1930’s-style animation was plagued with artifacts and synchronization issues — certainly not the way Studio MDHR would have wanted its title to appear on Apple’s mobile platform. Ironically, the universal iOS app was properly formatted for the new iPhone X and ran without complaints on the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

Cuphead is perhaps the highest profile example yet of the popular App Store scam where a shady “developer” steals another’s work and resells it to iOS users. Most of the time, stolen apps aren’t marketed as brazenly as Cuphead, instead using variations on the original app or developer name rather than purporting to be fully genuine. Despite complaints from developers, Apple’s policing of submitted apps remains somewhat lax, allowing clones to slip through until complaints and requests for removal are received.

We have contacted Apple about the unauthorized Cuphead port and will update you if we hear back.


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