There’s a dark to a lot of things; people’s personalities, the internet, the Force, and the Windows 8.1 Store. Microsoft’s leniency when it comes to regulating what gets published in its Stores has come under fire before, and now, it gets worse.
Darkest Dungeon is one of the most popular new RPG games available for Windows. Available to purchase from Steam, the early access game developed by Red Hook Studios has a ‘Very Positive’ score aggregated from over 3000 user reviews, and it has since popped up on the Windows Store. But here’s the thing, Red Hook Studios never published it on the Windows Store, so it’s there, selling for $3.99, illegally.
Many hawk-eyed gamers might notice a few irregularities on the games’ Windows Store page, such as the price it sells for, $3.99 compared to the $19.99 that the game goes for on Steam, or the listed publisher, Balaji Chowdary instead of Red Hook Studios, or the 2MB file size, or the broken English/poorly translated description which reads:
"Darkest Dungeon is a Strategy game.Player will employee, train and control a team of heroes in Darkest Dungeon Game. They will journey through warrens, twisted forests, crypts and other strangling places and they will be confronted by monstrous creatures which are unimaginable with these there comes calamities like stress, disease and famine."
Another warning sign lies in one of the screenshots on its Store page which you see below, can you identify anything suspicious in it?
Co-president and game designer of Red Hook Studios Tyler Sigman has taken to Twitter in hopes of finding a way to get Microsoft to remove the game – if it’s actually a game considering the file size – from the Store before people are scammed into buying it.
If anyone has a contact at Windows Game Store, please share. Somebody is scamming DD by selling it (illegally) on there.
— Red Hook Tyler (@tylersigman) February 22, 2015
Unfortunately, this isn’t Balaji Chowdary’s only game scam on the Windows Store, the developer has also published Lego Batman 3 Beyond Gotham, Whatchmen: The End is Nigh, and VMware Player, all likely to be scams too.
It seems Microsoft has been so blinded to get the number of apps up on its Store that app quality is just going down the drain. Browsing through the Windows Store is very different from browsing through the iOS or Google Play Store, it’s not about the number of apps available, it’s about how easily you can find apps that you can trust. Hopefully the nature of the Windows Store will change with the arrival of Windows 10. You can download the official game over at the Steam link below.
UPDATE: Tyler Sigman has confirmed that he has filed for copyright infringement on behalf of Red Hook Studios and that a few Microsoft employees on Twitter who caught on to the issue will be pushing it on to the Windows Store team. Sigman is now optimistic that the scam app will be pulled from the Store shortly.
Thx for all the help re: DarkestDungeon and the Windows Game Store. We have a ticket open & several helpful MSFT people are shepherding it.
— Red Hook Tyler (@tylersigman) February 23, 2015