There’s a scandal brewing in the Android Market, revolving around a reportedly stolen game called Iron Soldiers. The game itself is pretty customizable, and requires players to build, teach, train and bet on your Iron Soldier. According to a report from site Phandroid, a beta version of the game was released by a member of XDA for testing, but instead of business as usual, the unsigned APK was downloaded by someone else from XDA, who then signed and submitted it to the Android Market as his own.
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Published under DavinciDevelopers, the game has since been unpublished from the Market, but more titles from the alleged developer thief remain for purchase. The beta APK is still available, you can download it here. The original developer Vuxia.com, in response to the situation, issued the message seen below.
Update: According to commenters on Phandroid, the same developer accused of stealing Iron Soldiers has published other items from taken from XDA and other sites. In particular the TypoClock widget, uploaded to the Market 8 days ago, which was shared on XDA by kemonozume back in October. Other items are listed as stolen, but this one clearly has a provenance.
Another update to this story, according to the XDA thread on the game, the developer did sign his APK, but he said the signature is fairly easy to hack. Here is the original report of the theft on XDA.
As a result of this controversy, some readers are downrating DavinciDeveloper’s apps on AppBrain. If we hear of an official response from Google, we’ll keep you informed.
Developers: be careful out there.
With additional reporting by Maddi Hausmann Sojourner