Shameless ‘Canabalt’ Clone Gets Apple Approval

Canabalt clone5511

A shameless clone of the popular Canabalt running game for iOS has passed Apple’s approval process and is now available in the App Store. Free Running uses the Canabalt source code and makes no effort to be different or hide its imitation.

Canabalt’s source code was released by its developer last year so that other developers code use its game engine to create their own games. It was released under an MIT open source license, and its developer makes it clear that other developers cannot “distribute or redistribute [the] game code, art or sounds.”

PLD Soft have done exactly that with Free Running; taking the code, repackaging it with little to no changes, and submitting it to the App Store under a new name. Unfortunately for the great Canabalt, Apple approved it, leading to questions about its App Store approval process.

Last week Apple approved a Super Mario clone that was also a blatant rip-off; and later pulled it after just a few days. Thankfully there isn’t an official Super Mario game in the App Store that could have been damaged by its release, as there is with Free Running.

While Apple does a great job of keeping harmful, crude, and badly made applications out of the App Store, its review policy clearly isn’t perfect, and there’s a growing list of apps & games that get approved for a short period, which should have never entered the store in the first place.

Please don’t download this flagrant forgery.

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  • TTunco

    Wow. And I thought Apple’s App Store policies were ‘tight’.

  • chrisdata

    LOL, there must be a mistake!

  • John

    Don’t be an idiot, do you think Apple employees can remember all 200,000 apps on the App Store to the if some dev us copying an app??

  • Pauly

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame Apple. They are looking at other factors when approving apps. They aren’t going to compare it to every existing app out there to see if it’s a copy or a clone.

    Just because the game is common knowledge for us, doesn’t mean it for everyone. Come on people.

    The important part is how Apple reacts when it’s brought to their attention. And Apple will do the right thing.

  • HammyHavoc

    Canabalt is fantastic. This is a big problem; What a bunch of tossers. People are jerks.

  • CharliK

    They are. But they can’t be expected to search every possible form of potential copying, vet model releases etc. That’s why in the Developer Agreement the responsibility to ensure all proper legalities is placed on the app creator. When you upload a file you agree that it is legit. When Apple finds out that it is not they deal with it.

  • martinberoiz

    Boo hoo!! I released the code as open sores and now someone ripped off my game!!! Too bad, you should have thought of that b4 releasing your code!

  • Reed

    The original authors of the game messed up *royally* their open source release. They put the *whole* code on github, not just the engine. They put there data, sound, graphic, the specific files of the gam. Terrible example of how to ‘open source’ their own code. They should have been more careful. I wonder how common is this ignorance of how to use open source licenses among Mac/iOS developers

  • tinch

    I think that in order to use GPL you have to sell your soul to FSF or something like that. In this case ignorance IS bliss.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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