Alright, a new Witcher mobile game? That’s the only thing this is cool piece of geralt art (opens in new tab) I discovered what might indicate this on Reddit this morning.
The logo says it’s called Rise of the Kings and it seems to be available in app stores everywhere. It wasn’t until I scrolled down that I realized I was looking at another trashy mobile game that blatantly rips off other people’s artwork.
The offending artwork clearly took creative liberties with the design of its non-Geralt, mimicking actual art from The Witcher 3 while using the armor from the Netflix series. I daresay this swordsman’s face is even meant to mimic the impeccable Henry Cavill, an insult PC gamers can’t take (opens in new tab).
This Gerald of Riverboat ad appears to be promoting a Rise of the Kings update that has been out for months but only recently caught r/Gaming’s attention. commentators are laugh (opens in new tab) at the expense of viewing with some high quality zingers. “Including the ever-popular Qwerty card game!” wrote drawtheblueduck. “His trusty steed, Coach,” added 8bit4brains.
“I think The Witcher ripped off this game,” Crazescape said.
Mobile rip-offs are so prevalent at this point that it feels like laughing at them is a better use of our time than complaining about them in an internet void. That is, if you will allow me to fret over an already known issue beyond my control, it is absurd that these rip-offs continue to make money in large app stores.
Platforms like the Apple App Store pride themselves on app review, but theft is a depressingly commonplace. This update has been available since March! And Rise of the Kings isn’t a random sidebar ad game either. It has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store alone, a stat I pulled from the game’s store page, which currently auto-plays a trailer featuring the fake Geralt.
It would be nice to see these shady games get a long, costly hiatus from storefronts when they commit a theft, but considering Apple and Google automatically own up to 30% of everything Rise of the Kings makes, plug in, there is no particularly strong incentive.
Perhaps the Fast-Geralt here is something that CD Projekt doesn’t feel is worth pursuing, or isn’t close enough to be copyright infringement. If so, is it strange that these kinds of shady mobile games don’t take off the same way on Steam? Valve’s release rules appear to be prime breeding ground for IP theft (and it certainly does), but games that do so don’t seem to attract 10 million players over six years. Maybe that’s because trashy vape imitations are often more of a joke than a business strategy (opens in new tab).
We’ve reached out to CDPR for comment and will update if we hear anything back.
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