Someone over at Apple was caught napping on the job recently. At least, that’s the only way to explain how a hilariously fake game claiming to be Halo 4 passed Apple’s normally rigorous approval process and was accepted into the App Store.
The $4.99 game is available for iPhone and iPad (though it will likely be taken down any moment). It’s called Halo 4 and its icon looks like an iOS icon would look if 343 Industries produced a version of Halo 4 for iOS. The description of the game reads like it’s for Halo, promising gamers a “first-person shooter video game” in which you “assume the role of Master Chief.” Heck, the screenshots show gameplay that’s definitely from Halo 4.
The only problem with all of this? It’s actually a crappy chess game. You read that right: chess. There are knights, rooks, queens and kings, but there’s no Master Chief. There’s nothing Halo about it at all.
Either someone at Apple got completely duped, or the makers of this game found a way to alter the name and description of their game without Apple realizing it after getting a different game approved for the App Store. Either way, it’s a loophole that Apple will need to close.
It should come as little surprise that 343 Industries isn’t developing a mobile version of Halo 4 and has no plans to. That would be insane — the game only came out for Xbox 360 last month.
Perhaps the 200+ positive reviews, each of which said basically nothing at all, should have been a giveaway from anyone who got suckered into buying this game. As Gizmodo notes, the reviews couldn’t possibly look less authentic:
It’s amusing that the developers of this forgery thought they could slip this one past Apple. Sure, they succeeded for a short time, but they’re delusional if they think they’re going to get any money from the people who were duped into purchasing this lie. Apple will surely issue refunds and ban this developer from the App Store forever.
Apple should ban all the accounts that posted fake reviews, too. Manipulation of ratings and reviews in the App Store is becoming a big problem for Apple and it’s one that needs to be addressed immediately.