In yet another sign that the mobile game development community is completely devoid of creativity, a rash of Pokemon Go clones have sprung up around the world, and are tricking people into downloading them instead of the official Niantic and Nintendo app on the Google Play and iOS App Stores.
A similar situation has happened with many other games before now, such as when the widely popular game Flappy Bird was taken off of various mobile stores. Within hours multiple apps had sprung up and inundated the service with terrible Flappy Bird clones, to the point where Apple and Google put their foot down and blanket-wiped all of them from the servers and then automatically refused any game submitted to the store that included the word “Flappy” in its name.
Another scourge of various mobile stores is a number of war games stealing screenshots from Total War titles and using them as seemingly official screenshots of the game to make it seem better than it is.
Many of the new Pokemon Go clones have titles like claiming to be a new version of the game, urging players to catch them all, and more. One game, in France (where Pokemon Go isn’t available) is at the top of the App Store there. A game simply titled “Pokemongo” to slip past the copyright protection has been downloaded over 50,000 times by people in the UK on Android phones.
While some of the games are just people attempting to cash in on the game’s wild popularity, other “versions” of the Pokemon Go clones are actively malicious. According to ESET, an internet security company, the “game” Pokemon Go Ultimate will lock your phone and visit porn sites in the background, generating advertising and viewing revenue for the scumbags that developed it.
RiskIQ, an Internet data company, said that over 214 different copies of Pokemon Go had been released in the first 24 hours of the game launching, undoubtedly done to take advantage of countries that had not received the game yet.
Apple has removed the offending apps from its stores, but all the same, players of Pokemon Go should be careful that they’re actually downloading the official game from Nintendo and Niantic so that they don’t get tricked.