Fast-following clones are a well-established problem on mobile game storefronts, but Finnish developer Hempuli is discovering you don't need to even release your game to have it cribbed. Baba Is You doesn't launch on PC until later this year, but a game with the same name is already being offered for sale on the French App Store.
A YouTube trailer for the original Baba Is You is embedded below. The trailer for the mobile clone is embedded below that.
As the trailers make clear, the game on the App Store not only uses the exact name of the original, but it also recreates the visual style and logic puzzles that helped bring Hempuli awards for Excellence in Design and Best Student Game at last month's Independent Games Festival, along with nominations in the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and Nuovo Award categories.
The App Store clone is also linked to the website BabaIsYou.com, as well as the Twitter account @BabaIsYou, both of which are run by the clone game's developer. (An Android version of the clone game is said to be coming soon on the website.)
When asked for comment, Hempuli's Arvi Teikari told GamesIndustry.biz he only heard of the clone today.
"The fact that someone had not only made a rather blatant copy of my game, but had also purchased babaisyou.com and registered the Twitter handle @babaisyou without informing/crediting/asking me in any way has made the situation unpleasant and stressful to deal with. I've basically spent the whole day today dealing with the situation."
Teikari said he has contacted the App Store about the fraudulent game and reached out to Twitter to get the handle back, adding, "I'm hoping to be able to resolve the situation without too much extra stress and hassle."
As for the developer behind the clone, when another developer had called them out on Twitter, they responded saying, "We did not steal anything, we created the game completely and deposited the rights. We want to work with Hempuli, he does not want to. What should I do?"