The Apple Store has long been full of apps that make money through cloning, copyright infringement, and other scammy techniques. Sometimes, thanks to Apple’s never-ending vigilance, these scams can even make it to the top of the iTunes charts.
Take Minecraft: Pocket Edition 2, for example. Although this $7 app advertises itself as a sequel to Mojang’s ubiquitous brick-building game, it’s actually blatant fraud. The game itself has nothing to do with Minecraft, as Eurogamer discovered early this morning—it’s actually a swiping game where you have to fight zombies using Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. Until it crashes your phone.
None of that stopped Minecraft: Pocket Edition 2 from skyrocketing to #4 on iTunes’ paid app chart, as redditors on r/games discovered late last night. Although the game is no longer on top of the charts, it remains on iTunes, where you can find the same scammer selling other games too. (UPDATE (5:19pm): Looks like Apple took down the game.)
This scammer goes by Scott Cawthorn—a misspelled version of Five Nights at Freddy’s creator Scott Cawthon—and he’s also released his own versions of FNAF and Mortal Kombat. Mysteriously, all of the scammer’s apps are filled with nothing but five-star reviews.
Minecraft developer Mojang told Eurogamer that they’re looking to remove Minecraft: Pocket Edition 2 from the Apple Store. What’s incredible is that Apple approved it in the first place. Guess scams are OK as long as they don’t have guns.
You can reach the author of this post at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.