If you've purchased a copy of roguelike role-playing game Darkest Dungeon from the Windows Store, you've just been scammed, according to Red Hook Studios co-president Tyler Sigman. The Windows 8.1 app currently available there is an illegal copy, Sigman said.
The Windows Store lists Balaji Chowdary as its creator and includes no mention of developer Red Hook Studios. Other troublesome signs: This version of Darkest Dungeon is available for $3.99, compared to the game's usual $19.99 price tag, and is only a 2 MB download. Balaji Chowdary also appears to be responsible for other Windows Store copies such as Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Farming Simulator 2015 and "Latest" versions of Game Dev Tycoon and SpinTires.
At the time of publication, the Windows Store version of Darkest Dungeon is still available to purchase. According to Sigman, however, Red Hook Studios is working with Microsoft to address this issue. We've reached out to Red Hook and will update accordingly.
Thx for all the help re: DarkestDungeon and the Windows Game Store. We have a ticket open & several helpful MSFT people are shepherding it.
— Red Hook Tyler (@tylersigman) February 23, 2015
Darkest Dungeon launched as an Early Access title earlier this month on Steam and the Humble Store — the only two places you can buy a legitimate copy of the game. It focuses on the "psychological stresses" of adventuring; as you progress, characters are afflicted by stress, paranoia, fear and more.
For more on Darkest Dungeon, check out our Overview below or read tips on the game from Sigman himself.
Update: In an email to Polygon, Sigman explained that Red Hook was first alerted to the Windows Store copy of Darkest Dungeon by a support request. Because the dev only has distribution agreements for PC with Steam and the Humble Store, he said, it was "obviously a scam." Red Hook has since filed a copyright infringement support ticket with the Windows Store to resolve the issue.
"We have had several kind Microsoft employees from various departments reach out and offer to shepherd/escalate the issue to the store team," Sigman said. "It's been really great of them to do so. The issue is not resolved yet, but we expect it will be soon. We only noticed and filed our support ticket yesterday, which was a Sunday. So it really has not been very long yet."
The developer added that the team has not contacted the person who listed Darkest Dungeon on the Windows Store.
"The person was obviously scamming and knows the action was wrong, so we figured the more effective path would be to contact the storefront, and thereby also ensure that no money makes its way to this person," Sigman said.
"The whole scamming/cloning/pirating side of the business obviously sucks for devs. Our focus is on controlling the things we can: working with storefronts (or via other remedies) to ensure that our legal rights are not violated, and making the best game we can and putting it out at a fair price so that people thing it's a worthwhile purchase. This particular issue (DD on the Windows Game Store) is comparatively very, very tiny right now, but we don't like the idea of gamers getting scammed, aside from the other undesirable effects like providing support for pirated/altered versions and losing revenue to people who had nothing to do with creating the game."