Apple begins to remove knock-off Disney and Nickelodeon games from App Store

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Earlier this week, INPUT put out a scathing report on how the Apple App Store has a huge number of knock-off apps and games based around Disney characters and shows, today, we have learned Apple has begun to take these apps and games down.

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Laura June, the author of the piece says she went to the App Store to find games for her 6-year-old daughter, she says she searched what you would for a 6-year-old, Frozen, Vampirina, Sofia the First, and Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon.

She was expecting to find only the original versions of those apps, entrusting Apple with ensuring that any game or app that displays themselves as those games are legitimate and safe.

Instead, she got more than 10 knocks off games of the original, she notes that many of the apps “boldly use the official Disney characters in their titles, literally advertising themselves with the copyrighted, intellectual property of a currently airing Disney show.”

The apps are designed to fool you; fooling you is the goal. They’re designed to make you think, “Oh right, Disney! We love Disney, we trust Disney. Let me download that for you, kid!”

INPUT Report

While these apps do use official Disney and Nickelodeon branding, they are of significantly low quality. Laura notes she tested around 10 of the apps she saw, all of them were poorly optimized, quickly put together, and had poor navigational control.

The majority of these knock-off apps are placed under the Education genre in the App Store, mainly to try and escape the guidelines that come under the Games tab.

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Some of these apps also inflict violence, as Laura notes, one game had players “violently pulling Vamprina’s teeth and drilling her cavities” which she admits she played around with managing to get rid of one tooth before the app froze and crashed.

The underlying issue is that parents and users trust companies such as Apple, Disney, and Nickelodeon to provide their children with harmless games and apps.

Adding, why were these apps approved by Apple in the first place when they possibly in clear violation of multiple App Store guidelines. The apps themselves aren’t the only issue, the ads placed within the app (out of Apple’s control but still work noting) often displayed sexy, violent, and scam content in an app, meant for kids.

Well, today, INPUT reports that all of the games and apps outlined in their report have been taken down by Apple.

As INPUT notes, its unclear if Apple removed these apps after they found it themselves, or if Disney and Nickelodeon filed complaints. While Apple’s move to remove these apps are welcomed, we need to ask ourselves again, how did they end up on the App Store in the first place?

INPUT has reached out to Apple, Disney, and Nickelodeon for comment.

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Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.