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[Update] Google Play Takes Threes! Off Store Because 2048 Was A Search Word, Creator Responds

by Ben Reeves on May 05, 2015 at 03:34 PM

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Update: Threes! creator Asher Vollmer has offered a statement regarding Google's move to remove his game from its store, and is understandably frustrated.

In response to our inquiry, Vollmer wrote the following in an e-mail:

The decision to pull our app was clearly made by a robot and not by a human. I want Google Play to AT LEAST issue warnings before they take these kinds of actions. Hundreds of people will be directed to our clones for the next few days instead of THE ACTUAL GAME. This was a completely tone deaf move.

We reached out to Google for a comment on the error, and will update this story if we receive a response.

Original story:

Threes! has been one of the more addictive puzzle games for mobile devices in the last year or so, but if you didn't get a chance to download it to an Android device before, you won't be able to now. Google has removed the game from its store.

In a recent tweet, Threes! creator Asher Vollmer remarked about how Google pulled the game from its mobile store because it contains the word 2048 in the search keywords. Ironically, 2048 is a clone of Threes! that overshot the original's popularity, and it seems like Vollmer was just trying to capitalize on that success to bring recognition to his own title.

Our own Dan Ryckert (he used to be our own) enjoyed the game a lot when it first released. You can also check out a video interview with Vollmer and the creator of Tetris here.

We've reached out to both Vollmer and Google about this story, but neither have commented yet.

[Source: @AsherVo]


Our Take
Seeing as Vollmer is the originator of this type of game, it's sad to see that his game was removed from the store because it contains a reference to a more popular clone. I hope Vollmer is able to get his game back on the store soon.