Apple hits back at App Store scammers by locking screenshots after initial submission of apps
By James Gilmour 10 January 2013
Game Name: App Store | Manufacturer: Apple | Format: iPhone, iPad
Apple is clamping down on developers who try to use screenshots of popular games to pass their titles off as legitimate spin-offs or offshoots.
The Big A has amended the App Store submission process slightly, you see, meaning devs are prevented from swapping out submitted screenshots straight after the app has been approved by Apple.
You see, it has become common practice for unscrupulous developers to submit copycat apps with innocuous-looking screenshots to help them sneak under Apple's radar and into the App Store.
Once the apps are live, shady software sellers can immediately replace the approved screenshots with images pulled from successful App Store games in an effort to fool unsuspecting shoppers.
Or, at least, they could. No more, though.
On Apple's Developer portal, the Cupertino-based tech giant has posted the following statement on this matter.
In one case, highlighted in the above video from Panic Blog, the developer of a letter-arranging game called Mooncraft has used images of Mojang's super-popular Minecraft to dupe gamers into downloading its game.
This isn't an isolated incident, either. We've stumbled across this screenshot scam more than once.
For example, this listing for a fraudulent God of War appstill displays images from the original PS2 game, despite the fact that the app itself has nothing to do with Sony, SCE Santa Monica Studio, or even Kratos.
In order to accommodate legitimate updates to a game's screenshots, Apple will allow images to be altered after the game goes live, but only during the submission of "a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app".