When Flappy Bird‘s creator decided to pull his hit game from the app stores, developers around the world sprang into action to fill the void. That’s why the free games charts are filled with pixellated characters and titles like Splashy Fish, City Bird — Flappy Flyer and Ironpants, which all put their own spin on Flappy‘s formula. But now it seems Apple and Google have had enough.
The mobile giants have begun rejecting apps which too closely resemble Flappy Bird, in an attempt to stop developers capitalising on the top spot in Flappy search results. According to TechCrunch, developer Ken Carpenter saw his creation Flappy Dragon rejected from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, and took to Twitter to complain.
This is just not my fucking week: Rejected. "We found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app." Which app? FB doesn't exist!?!?!
— Ken Carpenter (@MindJuiceMedia) February 15, 2014
Carter says he received this response from Apple:
22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations will be rejected
22.2: We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. We found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app.
While Flappy Bird was definitely a “popular app”, it was removed last week, after the developer said it was having a negative impact on his “simple life”. But it seems Apple is still sticking to its rules, even though the app in question isn’t available on its store any more.
According to The Verge, Google told Carter he should “not use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in apps descriptions, titles, or metadata.”
Carter isn’t alone though — a number of other developers who have been working on Flappy Bird clones replied to his tweet, saying that they have also been rejected when they attempted to submit their apps, which used ‘Flappy’ in the title or as keywords. While the app stores may be getting more serious about keeping out obvious or misleading copies of Flappy Bird, they’ve got their work cut out for them — their mobile stores are already filled with tribute games and clones ranging from flapping bees to fish, puppies and the band members of Fall Out Boy.