The counterfeit version of Lugaru that turned up on the App Store earlier this month has finally been removed and Wolfire, the indie studio behind the original game, is taking extraordinary steps to compensate everyone who bought it.
In early February we heard about a counterfeit version of Lugaru, Wolfire's third-person bunnyrabbit fighting game, that had appeared on the App Store just a couple of weeks behind the original and entirely without Wolfire's knowledge. Lugaru HD, the real thing, sells for $9.99, while the knockoff listed for only 99 cents. The company that "created" the counterfeit defended its "legal right to sell and market" the game because Wolfire released the Lugaru source code after it its inclusion in the original Humble Indie Bundle.
Wolfire naturally disputed that point but Apple had already approved the game and let it stay on the store for over a week, where it climbed to number 60 on the games chart and presumably cost Wolfire some sales. It was finally removed a couple of days ago; Alex Matlin of iCoder told Kotaku that "the application was removed from sale by the development team, it was not pulled by Apple," although Wolfire President Jeffrey Rosen wrote on the Wolfire Games Blog that the studio still hadn't heard a peep from Apple and wasn't sure what had actually happened.
Regardless of the specifics, Wolfire is handling the situation with what can only be described as an extreme amount of class. "We don't think that the customers should be punished for buying the fake version -- they probably just assumed that all the games in the App Store are legitimate. We would have assumed the same thing until last week!" Rosen wrote. "If you accidentally purchased the fake Lugaru, you can forward your receipt to [email protected] and we will give you an authentic version of Lugaru HD, as well as a bonus Steam key for your trouble."
Is that awesome or what? Wolfire is going way above and beyond the call of duty and I think it deserves some major credit for its crazy customer service. Well played, gentlemen. Well played indeed.