Popular puzzle game Threes was temporarily removed from the Google Play store yesterday because it listed one of its copycats in its search terms.
Game Informer reports that its creator Asher Vollmer revealed that his title was pulled from the digital marketplace due to the inclusion of the name of rival title ‘2048' among its search keywords. 2048, of course, is in fact a clone of Threes.
The decision to pull our app was clearly made by a robot and not by a human,” Vollmer said. I want Google Play to AT LEAST issue warnings before they take these kinds of actions. Hundreds of people will be directed to our clones for the next few days instead of THE ACTUAL GAME. This was a completely tone deaf move.”
The game has since been restored to the marketplace.
Cloned titles are a big problem on Android. Following the flash popularity of Flappy Bird in early 2014 it was reported that 60 clones were being uploaded to Google Play on a daily basis.
Google Play has taken Threes off the store because we used "2048" as a search keyword ????— Asher Vollmer (@AsherVo) May 5, 2015
Threes has been restored to the Google Play store. I think they got the message.— Asher Vollmer (@AsherVo) May 6, 2015