Indie developer Ustwo looks to have walked headlong into a fresh PR disaster following an unpopular update to its smash hit iOS app Whale Trail.
One-star user reviews are flooding onto the game’s App Store page after a recent update added in-app purchases to the game.
What has irked users is that rather than adding abilities and functionality, the update has actually stripped them away, forcing gamers to either play the title extensively or pay up if they wish to recreate the same game experience they owned before the update.
“Used to be one of my favourite games but the update has ruined it,” one user wrote. “Can't get anywhere near the scores I used to get, nice way to treat those of us who bought the game originally.”
Another added: “The latest update has utterly destroyed this game. It claims that you can now power up the whale. The truth is that the whale is now weak, sluggish and impossible to get a decent score with.
“If you put in a million goes you can power him back up to where he was before this update. Or if you don't have six months to do that you can power him back up by buying the upgrades through IAP. It is truly shameful that the developers have done this. It should be illegal.”
A third is demanding his money back from his original purchase: “Purchased this game ages ago loved it ! Now they have suddenly changed the game to in game purchases. HOW DO WE GET OUR MONEY BACK surely this can't be legal.
“AVIOD this game and all games by this company they are greedy rip off merchants. Hopefully they will go out of business or learn their lesson and change the game back. I really can't believe that Apple can legally change a game that has already been purchased to make you have to pay for in game purchases I hope some lawyer sues the game company who produced it.”
Ustwo hit the headlines in May after releasing its second iOS title Papa Quash. Controversy quickly followed its arrival amidst claims that it was little more than a “clone” of PlayStation Move title J.S. Joust.