Darkest Dungeon has been one of the hottest, hardest games to see release in the new year. Despite being an Early Access title, the dungeon-crawler debuted as one of the top-selling games on Steam and has stayed there since its debut. That must be why a scammer has a shady $3.99 listing up on the official Windows app store.
One look at the dubious point-of-sale page—credited to one Balaji Chowdary—for Darkest Dungeon and it's apparent that it's a fake. Among other things, the listing shows a file size of 2.0 MB, a age rating of 3+ and a bizarre description. For comparison's sake, the real game on Steam is about 900 MB and goes for $19.99. On the Reddit thread where the fake is being discussed, Redditors speculate that this might be a way to distribute malware or a virus.
Members of dev studio Red Hook Games—who are the real creators of Darkest Dungeon—have been warning folks of this version as well.
Meanwhile, the seller who's trying to pass off this fake also also has other video games that are clearly scams, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh and Lego Batman 3 among them. As has happened before on the Apple App Store and Google Play storefronts, this looks like a case of inconsistent moderation letting folks with bad intent get through the gates. Kotaku has reached out to Red Hook Games and Microsoft for comment and will update this story if they respond.
Update: Here's the response from Red Hook Games:
We first learned about [the fake] yesterday (Feb 22). Someone emailed us after purchasing a copy of Darkest Dungeon from the Windows Store and being unable to open the file they downloaded. The individual gave no indication as to the nature of the file - virus/malware/etc.
Shortly thereafter, a Microsoft staff member contacted us, and assisted us in setting up a complaint. Since then, we've had several people from Microsoft reach out to help, from various departments. There is no formal resolution at this time.
We've called attention to the scam on Twitter, and want to remind anyone interested in purchasing the game to do so through Steam or Humble.
Update 2: That bogus version of Darkest Dungeon is no longer listed on the Windows Store. Here's the Microsoft statement via a company spokesperson:
We are aware of recent claims of "scam" or unauthorized versions of certain games being sold in the Windows Store. We take claims of intellectual property infringement seriously and review them in accordance with our standard procedures. We also continue to review the content of our Store periodically as described in our recent blog post, as we work to deliver a great customer experience and provide fair and transparent developer policies and enforcement.