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Apple, Google reportedly grounding 'Flappy Bird' clones

Developers complain that games with the word "flappy" in the title are being rejected from the two app stores.

Apple and Google reportedly have cracked down on apps that appear to be trying to capitalize on the "Flappy Bird" phenomenon, the addictive game that was removed from app stores earlier this month.

Clones of the popular game began appearing in the app stores not long after Dong Nguyen, the app's creator, removed the popular game from app stores on February 9, saying that he was overwhelmed by the game's popularity. But now those app stores have started rejecting games with "flappy" in the title that appear to be clones of the original game, according to TechCrunch.

Game designer Ken Carpenter, from studio Mind Juice Media, tweeted that Apple rejected his "Flappy Dragon" game from the App Store because Apple "found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app."

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.

Apparently Carpenter isn't alone. Soon after Carpenter's tweet, other game designers complained of receiving rejections for apps containing the word "flappy":

Carpenter was not the only developer complaining about the rejection of a flap-related app:

Carpenter said the rejection of his app was odd because there are plenty of Flappy clones on the App Store, including "Flappy Bee," "Flappy Plane," "Flappy Super Hero," "Flappy Flyer," and even "Flappy Bird Flyer." But Carpenter said that Apple wasn't alone in rejecting his app, tweeting that his game had been rejected twice on Google Play:

"The first time I assumed it was because I included a phrase about 'Flappy Dragon' being the best flapping game to play now that 'Flappy Bird' is dead," Carpenter told TechCrunch. "My app was originally published with no issue and was online and searchable for a few hours."

About a day later, Carpenter said he received a suspension notice from Google that indicated his app had been removed for violating the store's terms of service prohibiting spam. After resubmitting the app under a name that removed the flappy reference, Carpenter said it was again rejected.

An Apple spokesperson told CNET that it wasn't merely targeting apps with the word flappy in the title rather apps that are clearly designed to deceive users into thinking it's a replacement CNET has also contacted Google for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. PT with Apple comment.