At 6:25 a.m. PST, Studio MDHR, maker of the hit game Cuphead, issued a tweet warning that there was an imposter game on Apple’s App Store. It called the game a scam and said that it was working to have it removed.
The app had a very convincing preview (image below) in the store even going so far as listing Studio MDHR as the seller and copyright holder. The app icon seemed legit, and screenshots were provided to complete the ruse.
There is a Cuphead imposter app on the iOS store -- this is a scam. We are working on removing the fraudulent app ASAP!— Studio MDHR (@StudioMDHR) December 18, 2017
Ryan Moldenhauer, a director at Studio MDHR, said that the app is “100% fake.” He told CNet via email that “the company has no plans to bring Cuphead to iOS.”
It is unknown how many people fell for the trick and purchased the app, which was selling for $4.99. Presumably, they will be eligible for a refund. It is not likely that it got out to too many people since it was only uploaded some time Monday morning. A quick search on the App Store shows that the fake game has already been removed, so it was only up for a matter of hours.
Apple had no comment on the matter.
The support link in the app’s description led to a website that was also illegitimate and has since been taken down. CNet did a registration search and discovered that the owner of the fake website has also posted phony sites for other games as well. All of the imposter websites were advertising iOS versions even though none exist.
The owner of the fake sites and app has not returned requests for comment.
Cuphead is a side-scrolling platform shooter with retro-cartoonish graphics. It reminds me of those old cartoons telling you to visit the concession stand that theaters would play before the feature started — the ones with the dancing sodas, candy, and popcorn.
It is worth noting that if you own both a PC and Xbox One, purchasing from the Microsoft Store allows you to download both versions for one purchase price through the Play Anywhere program (Thanks to ikesmasher for pointing that out).
Screenshot via Alfred Ng/CNet