Pig Problem: Facebook lets rogue app developers steal traffic

When we launched Pig Rush for Facebook, we told all our friends to go and check it out. Those who didn't have the URL naturally used Facebook's search to try and find it. They were (and still are) met with the following pretty confusing list of results:

While confusing, that's not the real issue. If you click on the second-to-last entry labelled Pig Rush App, you'll be taken to something... unexpected...

Surely this must be some kind of mistake? After a collective "WTF?!", we played a few rounds of a game that has you trying to keep a pumpkin - yes, a pumpkin - away from a gorilla. It's actually pretty fun, but what does this have to do with Pig Rush?

After some investigation, we figured it out. The developer running this game registered this application using the name Pig Rush and our Pig Rush icon to drive traffic to their game. But something didn't add up. This gorilla game was fun! Why would a dev with a fun game have to resort to such tactics?

The secret was in the pumpkin.

Not only did this developer take our name and icon, they took an entire game (which is actually called Save Banana) from another developer! Except for the banana. They replaced that with a pumpkin.

It's been over a month since we contacted Facebook about this, but so far our request has been ignored. It's disappointing to see that they'd allow this sort of behaviour to go unchallenged on their platform. Something tells me if Zynga were in this situation there wouldn't be a banana (or pumpkin) left to save.

If anybody has any tips on how to get through to Facebook besides their 'report' button, please let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: While writing this I've realized there are at least half a dozen "Save Banana" games on Facebook, and there was even a "Save Apple" game. I don't know what is real anymore.

Stephen Ceresia

Stephen Ceresia is Marketing Manager at ReignDesign. Stephen is from Canada and is currently based in Shanghai.

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