Last week saw the release of Vlambeer’s long awaited World War II flying ace title. But even before Luftrausers (our review) was ready for consumers, it was being cloned. Last year, Vlambeer successfully petitioned Apple to remove developer Rubiq Lab’s SkyFar from the App Store. Now, Rubiq Labs has resurfaced the game on Apple’s marketplace.

We spoke with Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail, who expressed frustration at Rubiq Lab’s efforts to piggyback on Luftrausers’ success. “This is the thing with clones,” he told us. “It’s not about the game, it’s about the money.”

Ismail has experience fighting cloners, both with regard to Luftrausers' imitations and copies of Vlambeer’s popular mobile title, Ridiculous Fishing. Cloners follow a typical pattern when attempting to fool potential customers.

Luftrausers by Vlambeer (Left) and SkyFar by Rubiq Lab (Right)  

“People are going to search for Luftrausers and they won’t find it on iOS because it doesn’t exist,” Ismail explained. “So [Rubiq Lab] put up a game with screenshots that look like Luftrausers and it actually is nothing like Luftrausers because if we could’ve done the game well on iOS, then we would’ve done it.”

Vlambeer isn’t just upset that the game has been cloned, though. Users are being deceived into purchasing something based on Luftrausers’ success and aesthetics. “There is no way to do Luftrausers properly on iOS because you need one button too many,” Ismail said. “[Rubiq Lab] is just trying to steal money, effectively, promising something that it is not.”

Tim Turi contributed to this report.


Our Take
Cloning is a serious problem, especially in the mobile space. It’s not exclusive to small developers, as there have been allegations levied against Zynga and King suggesting similar practices. Intellectual property laws exist to protect developers, but indies often lack the resources necessary to fight the flood of unscrupulous individuals looking to cut themselves a piece of the pie.