The Grinch who stole Christmas


Update: The app is now back at $1. WTF Apple?

Original post:
A while back I got a mail from a fan who asked "when will Garden Gnome Carnage come to iPhone?" I answered that he should be on the look-out for an announcement soon, as we do have plans to release GGC on iOS!

The funny thing was that he replied and said "I see the game's out now, congrats! One thing though, and I mean no disrespect by it: why is the iOS port's graphics dumbed down 10x? I was really looking forward to pixel art goodness. I was, in a word, disappointed."

I was very puzzled by this reply, since we haven't released the game on iPhone yet! So I checked it out - and lo and behold - someone has stolen our game and put it on AppStore.

In this industry it's not uncommon to see games that are very familiar to one another. But this is one different. Here's a rundown on what they stole from our game:
  • The name. The frickin' name as seen in the icon and main menu is "Garden Gnome Carnage".
  • The Music and sound. We're talking ripping files here. It's the exact same music - lifted from our release.
  • The theme. Graphically, everything looks exactly like our game - but much worse.
  • The Gameplay. Very (very) badly emulated swing gameplay. Same core, but oh so badly done.
  • The instruction screens. Looks like he painted over the screens with his own graphics.
Suffice to say - I was, and am, pretty pissed. Not only has someone stolen our game, but we have also got bad publicity with our fans that expected more from an iPhone port of GGC!

I have already been in contact with Apple, and I hope they will take it down as soon as possible. I noticed the price has been dropped and it's now free - I assume Apple did this during the investigation. Or the Grinch (as I call him) did it when Apple sent him a notice.

Another thing the Grinch did during the last 24 hours was to remove his Twitter account. It was up yesterday when I looked, but it's down today. I assume this was in response to some form of notice from Apple - it looks like he's going into hiding now. I still got his name and picture though, and his profile is still up on some other communities he uses.

I hope this blog post will somehow reach him, and he'll remove the app of his own free will. And if not that, I hope Apple see the theft for what it is and remove it. Regardless, I'm positive this will be resolved shortly, and that you all can look forward to the REAL Garden Gnome Carnage for iOS very soon!