|Image Source: WolfFire Games|
One of my favorite games--and my son's--is a game entitled "Lugaru" which features a ninja-rabbit. I've written about it before, but was intrigued by this story of piracy on the Apple App Store. The author's blog reports the following (btw, I'd love to see this game on Android OS):
You may recall that two weeks ago we added Lugaru HD to the Mac App Store for $9.99 (the same price as on Steam, our own site, and all other distribution channels). You can imagine our surprise when we saw it listed on the Mac store for only $0.99! When we looked into it further, we saw that it was uploaded and sold by someone we had never heard of (using the pseudonym of "iCoder" / "Michael Latour") and had the name "Lugaru" instead of our "Lugaru HD".
When customers search for Lugaru in the Mac app store, this is what they see. As you might expect, this is not good for sales of Lugaru HD.
Lugaru being illegally sold on the Mac App Store
This is a kind of software fraud we've never even heard of: a pirate simply downloading the app and resubmitting it to the same distribution channel at a lower price. We immediately emailed Apple explaining the situation, expecting them to quickly investigate the situation, shut down the fraudulent app, and follow up with us. We started this process a few days ago, and haven't heard back from Apple yet.
While piracy is a fact of life for all game developers, this Mac app store scam is a different beast entirely. Apple is billing the Mac App Store as theplace to buy Mac software. It is auto-installed in your dock. It is listed in the Apple menu. We expect pirated copies of games to be available in shady corners of the internet, but not in well-known digital distribution channels with famously long review processes.
As much as I love Lugaru--and my son and I STILL eagerly awaiting Overgrowth after having prepaid it--I'm not surprised that Lugaru is being pirated and that it exists on Apple's App Store...there's just no way to control the content.