Judging by the weekend’s crop of new titles on the former’s App Store, though, there are gaps in the policy big enough for a few more to fly through.
The Verge reported on the crackdown, suggesting that several developers have had games rejected by Apple’s approvals team on the grounds that “your app name attempts to leverage a popular app”, while another was pulled from Android’s Google Play store for flouting rules on “irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in apps descriptions, titles, or metadata”.
This, despite the fact that a number of Flappy Bird-a-like games – some with “Flappy” in their titles – were approved and released over the weekend. Take a bow, Flappy Cat: Pirate, Flappy Puppy and Flap Copter Flap, not to mention Slappy Shark – Crazy Obstacle Dodge, Floppy Penguin Birdie, Scrappy Fish, Flashy Fish and Desert Bird.
Oh, and not to forget Flying Cyrus – Wrecking Ball, which combines Flappy Bird and a disembodied, extra long-tongued Miley Cyrus head. Meanwhile, a Google Play search for Flappy Bird turns up pandas, mice, pigs, cows, frogs, bats, fish, Nyan Cats, dragons, doges and several piles of faeces paying flappy homage.
As crackdowns go, this one is currently looking rather lax, although it has been suggested that Apple and Google may be focusing their attention on games that risk fooling people into thinking they are the original Flappy Bird, or at least connected to it.
The game’s developer, Dong Nguyen, removed it from both app stores earlier this month, after Flappy Bird’s sharp rise to global popularity, and heated online debates about the game’s influences and quality.
Since then, there have been critical reappraisals, a Flappy Jam with developers creating nearly 300 games inspired by Flappy Bird to show support for Nguyen, a tribute from the developer of critically-acclaimed mobile game Super Hexagon, and a massively-multiplayer online version for up to 1,000 players at once.
If Apple and Google are serious in their desire not to be overrun by Flappy Bird games, it may be Flappy Jam that gives them the most headaches, given that many of its developers are now looking to release the games they coded in a matter of days as part of the project.
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