When Dong Nguyen decided to pull Flappy Bird from app stores, developers around the world hoped to cash in on the phenomenon by releasing thousands of clones across Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. It looks like the clones are at it again, this time with Nguyen’s follow-up to Flappy Bird, Swing Copters. However, this time, Google has reportedly cleaned things up, according to The Guardian.
Google reportedly removed hundreds of Swing Copters clones from the Play Store. These clones, based on the short video that showed how Swing Copters would work, knocked the official game down to the 63rd search result when searching for “Swing Copters.” With the clones removed, the game has propelled to the top of search results.
What wasn’t revealed in the report, and in Google’s official statement to The Guardian, was whether this was a proactive move on Google’s part or a copyright complaint from Nguyen. “We remove applications that violate our policies, such as apps that are illegal or that promote hate speech,” said a Google spokesperson to the outlet. “We don’t comment on individual applications.”
As of this writing, Swing Copters is in the top five free game downloads for both iPhone and iPad, while the Android iteration has been downloaded at least 10,000 times. However, even if Google removed most Swing Copters clones, some still exist. Clones include Swing Bird, Swing Chopper, and Falling Copters, among others.