SayGames, the company behind a widely-criticised clone of top indie game Unpacking, has apologised.
"Unpacking Master", as its rip-off was titled, hit the headlines this week after it topped app store download charts - despite it being a microtransaction-fulled asset flip of the original.
Now, in a statement to Kotaku, SayGames boss Egor Vaihanski has apologised, and said it had removed the game from Google Play itself. (Apple is believed to have pulled Unpacking Master from its app store after the matter gained widespread press coverage.)
"I'd like to apologise for our lack of research prior to launching the game from one of the developers we work with," Vaihanski said.
"The game clearly resembles 'Unpacking' and this resemblance goes way beyond the game title. We messed up and we apologise."
(The obvious response to this is that SayGames clearly did a lot of research into Unpacking, closely coping its gameplay, levels and individual items of furniture...)
It's demoralising for a small team like ours to see content we spent literally years planning, refining and handcrafting be hastily reproduced in an opportunistic ad-riddled app a mere 3 months after our launch. pic.twitter.com/vuPe58RP1e— Unpacking 📦 merch on sale NOW! (@UnpackingALife) January 25, 2022
"We have pulled the Unpacking Master from Google Play, the game is no longer available for download on both iOS and Android," Vaihanski continued.
"We have also got in touch with [Unpacking developer] Witch Beam to discuss how we can resolve this."
Earlier this week, Witch Beam spoke out on Twitter after receiving hundreds of messages from fans pointing out that the rip-off was raking in attention.
"It's demoralising for a small team like ours to see content we spent literally years planning, refining and handcrafting be hastily reproduced in an opportunistic ad-riddled app a mere three months after our launch," Witch Beam wrote.
"We're a tiny indie team and even with the success we have achieved, we still don't have the resources to pursue companies trying to use our game's distinct look and feel to make a quick buck. We have to rely on storefronts like the App Store to better curate their content."
The existence of cloned games seems to be a perennial issue for Apple and Google's stores. Earlier this month, it was clones of Wordle making the headlines.
For more on Unpacking, creator Wren Brier was our most recent guest on the new Eurogamer Podcast - which is now available to all.