Jan 10th, 2011

Take notice, good-willed developers. One popular method to perfect a beta app before going live to Android Market is to offer it as a direct download to a small group who can test it, submit bugs, suggest changes, and overall provide a tight-knit system for feedback. That’s exactly what cyberniko on XDA intended to accomplish with the beta launch of a game called Iron Soldiers. But he got more than he bargained for.

Another member of XDA allegedly downloaded the unsigned APK, signed it himself, and submitted to Android Market as if it were his own game. Essentially, he released the developers game as his own, before the game ever came out of beta. If it’s true… what a sham and what a shame.

The offending developer, DavinciDevelopers, unpublished the allegedly stolen game from Android Market, but their information is still cached on the Googlewebz. That developer has a number of titles for sale on Android Market, and I would suggest (if this is all true) that nobody purchase a title from them. Other forms of boycott may include buying, rating 1 star, uninstalling, a returning to Android Market with whatever reason you may choose.

The game is still in beta and you can download it here. Check out the REAL developer’s site at Vuxia.com. The game looks pretty neat and the 6-months of work really shows- Iron Soliders seems very polished. Perhaps an unfortunate incident will lead to more fertile pastures… I know I’m eager to check out more from Vuxia after seeing some screenies and hearing some concepts.

Learn from another developer’s mistakes if you’re working on your own app or game. Sure, launch a beta in a forum to help the dev process along, but make sure you protect your APK and cover your butt by whatever means necessary.

I just want to leave a little disclaimer that the accusation of stolen property haven’t been confirmed as true/false and I’m going by what the developer announced in their own thread on XDA as it seems to be a reputable report.