An iOS version of the run-and-gun platformer Cuphead found its way onto the App Store on Monday, December 18, but was taken down after it was confirmed to be a scam. According to TouchArcade, the game appeared to look official — with screenshots, support page links, and all — but was confirmed by video game developer Studio MDHR to be an imposter app.
Cuphead is based on a cartoon that literally has a cup for a head. In the game, Cuphead and his brother, Mugman, have to buy their souls back from the Devil after a night at the casino goes wrong.
After years of anticipation and released footage, the game was officially released in September. It’s currently available for Xbox One and Windows 10, but Studio MDHR has yet to release anything for iOS.
While the app looked real, the support link associated with it was registered to someone who isn’t listed as part of the Studio MDHR staff, The Verge reports. Before it was taken down, you were also able to actually play the version of Cuphead using touch controls but it was low-resolution and the touchscreen was glitchy.
Not too long after the game was uploaded to the App Store, Studio MDHR took to Twitter to confirm the app wasn’t real. Apple officially removed only a couple hours later.
There is a Cuphead imposter app on the iOS store — this is a scam. We are working on removing the fraudulent app ASAP!
— Studio MDHR (@StudioMDHR) December 18, 2017
TouchArcade took a deeper look into the sophisticated Cuphead scam and noticed how high-quality it looked at first glance. There was an animated video trailer, it’s listed as 1.9GB, and the developer name looked correct — unless you knew the domain didn’t actually have the word ‘games’ in it.
Eventually, an anonymous developer reached out explaining that it was most likely a porting outfit behind the scam. TouchArcade explained that it could be possible the scam was built from the original source file. Someone could have then either stolen the project, or the porting company might’ve also released it.
Since the game was pulled from the App Store, users will no longer be able to download it. If you were among those who did end up purchasing the game for its $5 price, you can still receive a refund from Apple.