Cloned Blek sets a new low for shameless ripoffs


By enhancing discoverability and human curation in its App Store, and favoring innovative indie developers over brainless money-hungry giants, Apple is doing a lot of things right these days when it comes to iOS.

An area it could still work on, however, is kicking out knockoff titles — or making sure they never make it into the App Store to begin with.

Case in point is Cloned Blek. Brought to our attention by Gamezebo, the title is a shameless display by apparent ripoff artists Coffee House Apps.

This isn’t the first time that Apple has struggled with the issue of clones of a popular app flooding the App Store. Earlier this year when Flappy Bird was all the rage, Apple reportedly cried to crack down on the number of Flappy apps being uploaded to the App Store. It apparently didn’t work, since not long after it was reported that a whopping one-third of games accepted into the App Store over a 24 hour period were Flappy clones.

We recently profiled the work of Blek creators Denis and Davor Mikan following their Design Award victory at WWDC. While indie developers can sometimes hit it big with a killer app like Blek or Monument Valley, there’s a tremendous amount of work involved to create these hits.

Apple has made a concerted effort to push creators to develop for iOS, but it’s also of vital importance that users follow suit and ignore bottom-feeders like Cloned Blek in place of the real thing. And whoever is responsible for approving or rejecting apps in the App Store really needs to up their game, too.

If we want the current golden age of iOS indie games to continue, that is.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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