The App Store is ridiculously unpredictable except when it comes to one thing: Developers doing everything they can to ride on the coattails of something that's successful. We saw it with Angry Birds and a tidal wave of games where you would fling things to knock other things over for three stars. Temple Run brought about a new era of endless behind the back runners. Now, Flappy Bird has everyone and their brother racing to release a game with "Flappy" in the title.
It's understandable, as Flappy Bird mania is still going strong, with Flappy Bird's interest over time over the past 12 months exceeding that of Minecraft. Additionally, the top free charts are still dominated by Flapp-likes. The result? Both Apple and Google have decided that enough is enough, and they're actively rejecting games trying to ride the Flappy popularity bus.
TechCrunch points out a few rejections that happened over the weekend, with Apple specifically citing this clause of the App Store guidelines:
22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations will be rejected
We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
We found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app.
The game in question here was Flappy Dragon by Mind Juice Media. The story also references a tweet from Kuyi Mobile mentioning a small group of other developers who have had their Flapp-likes meet a similar fate with the Apple banhammer. Oddly enough, this only seems to impact new games, Apple doesn't seem to be doing anything with the current Flappy games locking up the iTunes free charts.
It's a bit of an odd stance, as "Flappy" was neither trademarked or copyrighted by Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen. People obviously want these games, or else the current Flapp-likes wouldn't be glued to the top of the free charts. Either way, we're going to keep our eyes on whatever happens next in the always surprising saga of Flappy Bird.