Rogue Developer Steals Iron Soldiers Beta Game, Publishes To Market


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The offending developer, DavinciDevelopers, unpublished the allegedly stolen game from Android Market, but their information is still cached on the Googlewebz.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 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.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. download is a zip file with no apk so how do i install the game.

  2. The download is a apk for me just downloaded it straight to my phone

  3. What’s up Tyler?

  4. Looks as though he already removed it from the market. I’m looking for it in his catalog, but it’s hard, it seems he’s one of those spam theme developers.

  5. So Blackdroid moved from ROMs to game eh?

  6. Update:

    More things he has possibly stolen (I’ve played on other devices):
    Championship Racing 2010
    Quake 2, 3 (he didn’t even change the screenshots)
    Typographic Clock (Very sure stolen also from XDA, (
    NBA Practice
    Zuma’s Revenge WITHOUT A DOUBT STOLEN!!!

    Thanks phandroid for pointing this thief out! He needs his account to be shut down and reported. Popcap should sue his ass for copyright infringement!

  7. DavinciDevelopers did the same with the great TypoClock widget, available for free on xda. And it is still on the Android market.

    I already did this method (buying, rating 1 star, uninstalling) twice (my phone and dad’s one) and left bad comments.

  8. Ugh.. if it’s true, then DavinciDevelopers should risk being banned.

    But lesson’s learned, i guess:
    -Never put a beta in the public domain without some kill-switch (although, a hacker could get around that).
    -Never put out an unsigned APK into the public domain.

  9. Didn’t anyone learn from the Facebook fiasco and the jerkwad who stole that concept? Only difference there is oh say a few BILLION dollars, but the same thing applies. If you come up with an idea, concept or actual app, do everything possible to cover your keister! Too many crooks in this world looking for a quick buck because they lack the brains to do the actual work themselves.

  10. so much for being polished it force closes right away

  11. I can’t believe someone would steal someone else’s work like this. shocking.

  12. This is unacceptable! Stabbed in the back by your peers that are to help you.

    Phandroid, are you re-posting this article? Wasn’t it up in Oct.

  13. i hope the developers sues his ass to the moon!

  14. What a douche!

  15. Hope this guy get hacked! He really is messing with the wrong people IMHO! Not a good crown to piss off

  16. The advice in your article to post a beta also on the market is the best advice that can be given. Notice however that when a developer wants to sell his app after testing it he can’t offer his beta for free. The market doesn’t allow to first offer an app for free and later ask money for it.

    So thanks to davinci it is over with free beta testing. Great job kids.

  17. I saw them offering Dungeon Hunter as well (originally by Gameloft) – AppBrain proposed me to upgrade. From the comments I saw that at least one person went for this and bought the game (which didn’t work of course). This developer should be banned but how can it be guaranteed that they will not return under some other name?

  18. Please report this to Google. This kind of thief must be banned.

  19. The best thing to do is register the package straight away, I don’t believe you need a beta build to do that

  20. Yhup, apparently Davinci stole a lot of stuff :

  21. I say we all go over to his house and beat him to death. C’mon lets go all we need is for phandroid to publish the offenders home addres. Waiting…

  22. I’ve got some extra pitch forks…

  23. I reported him to Popcap and their legal representatives are contacting him. lol!

  24. Hello,
    i’m the game designer of “Iron Soldiers” and i confirm this practice of Davincideveloppers. Me and Cyberniko (the developper) will probably change the name of the game.



  25. @Heupe The name “Droid Soldiers” sounds pretty cool, right? :D LoL!!
    Or maybe “Iron Droids”! LoL!!

    But you should totally use “Droid Soldiers” unless I don’t know if you can legally use the word “Droid” in your app names.

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