Imagine being able to play this year’s console indie darling Cuphead on mobile as a really good, well-made port. Then picture your crushing disappointment when said port turned out to be nothing but a well-done scam.
Now stop imagining, because that’s exactly what happened over a period of less than 24 hours. It began when Cuphead popped up on the iOS App Store in the wee hours of Monday morning. The App Store write-up was convincing, t looked great, had touch controls that worked and seemed legit, the whole nine yards. At just $4.99, it seemed almost too good to be true.
And alas, it was:
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
That’s the official Twitter feed of Studio MDHR, actual makers of Cuphead.
So what happened? The folks at Touch Arcade have a fascinating look at the whole sordid affair, including why the fake app was so convincing and what probably happened:
It’s entirely possible that the reason this Cuphead scam is so good is because it was built off original source’s files, and at one point was a legit port of the game. From there, a disgruntled employee could have stolen the project, or the porting company could have just released it themselves after the deal to port the game fell through. Either seems equally plausible, as my source who tipped me off to this possibility mentioned they pursued having a title they built ported, the port didn’t meet their quality expectations, and the porting company just released it anyway.
Anyone duped by the Cuphead scam app is eligible for a refund, and there are simple guides out there to help you do just that. The silver lining in all this is that it’s possible the Cuphead developers might actually be considering a mobile port, and we’d be all kinds of there for it if they decide to do it. Just be careful next time you see it pop up in the App Store without warning.