When Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen released his latest game Swing Copters on the Google Play store on Thursday, it hit alongside dozens of clones that had already flooded the Android app store. Today, the Google Play store looks vastly different, with nary a Swing Copters clone in sight.
Dozens of developers jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on Nguyen's success with Flappy Bird — and the presumed popularity of Swing Copters — by uploading apps with names like Swinging Copter, Swing Copters Game, Swing Copters Free, Copters Swing and Swing Copters 2. Some were released by developers named Dong's Entertainment and Nguyen Ha Dong, an apparent attempt to further confuse Android users looking for Nguyen's app.
This is what the Google Play store looked like earlier this week.
It appears Google is cracking down on those clones. Nguyen's Swing Copters, released through his .Gears Studio, now enjoys a prominent position in the Google Play store and the handful of attempted clones look vastly different from Nguyen's original.
A handful of Swing Copters-style clones — some with names like Tube Revenge - Swing Copters and Swing Planes — appear in a "swing copters" search on Apple's App Store, but .Gears' version shows up as the first result. Maybe the two app store gatekeepers are starting to take the problem of app cloning a bit more seriously, at least for high profile game releases like Swing Copters.