Pixelmon Master has been out for more than two months now and has seemingly sneaked past the legal departments of Nintendo and The Pokemon Company.
The mobile game, still available on Google Play, is a complete clone of the Pokemon franchise down to even the names and design. Ironically, publisher VanessaAntoniaLi states that Pixelmon Master is “not” an official Pokemon game for Android but the average player will need to jump through a few hoops in order to read those claims in the description panels.
The dubious publisher has also not shown any fear of potential lawsuits, having been quite busy in promoting Pixelmon Master as a “new Pokemon adventure” and “best Pokemon remake” through multiple Facebook pages. The sponsored marketing campaigns have been driving downloads (and profits) despite infringing on a copyrighted brand.
Making the situation even worse for Nintendo and The Pokemon Company is that the Android clone is not alone. The same source that has been promoting Pixelmon Master is behind multiple other Pokemon rip-offs such as Poke Fairy, also available on Google Play. The games, descriptions, claims, and everything else are as similar as two peas in a pod. It goes without saying that publisher VanessaAntoniaLi exists merely as a name. Poke Fairy, for example, was published by GaoXubin. The entire operation is a huge scam.
Both of the Pokemon rip-offs (and others) are free to download and play. However, they do support microtransactions. To make a unique character, players will require “some beautiful costumes” from the in-game shop that can be upgraded to be “more beautiful and powerful than before” — pay to win. The microtransactions will likely also cover other avenues such as removing a daily limit for progression and equipping boosters.
That being said, don’t even think of downloading either Pixelmon Master or Poke Fairy. The Pokemon clones are riddled with malware to phish personal data and spread into other devices. Like any malware, they can do any number of things to cause all kinds of damage. Nintendo and The Pokemon Company need to step in as soon as possible to remove those apps from Google Play since thousands may have already become victims in the past couple of months.
Elsewhere, Pokemon Sword and Shield — official versions — were released this week. The fan-base has been a bit stingy about the developer cutting out features and Pokemon in the final versions. For those still interested, both Sword and Shield only differ in the Pokemon players will be able to catch. Zacian, for example, is a legendary catch exclusive to Sword. Zamazenta lies in Shield.