Over the weekend we received a tip that the Microsoft Store is still plagued with scam game listings, an ongoing issue from nefarious entities on the digital giant.
It appears a scamming developer by the name of “BarleyGames Studio” has been publishing cheap mobile games under the guise of real games such as Rockstar’s Bully, and Obsidian’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, to name a couple.
On the surface, it might look like you’re buying one of your favorite videos games, but take a closer look and you’ll quickly see in some cases the screenshots don’t match the games advertised.
If you do download these games, the game’s don’t match the already fraudulent screenshots, and in some cases, these games are more expensive than their authentic counterparts. Examples include Rockstar Game’s Bully costing $15 on Steam, while the fake Microsoft Store version is currently priced at $29.99 after a 30% discount.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has had to deal with scam apps, as the Microsoft Store is still plagued with scam game listings years after blatantly fake things like Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons appeared on the store. Microsoft has since pledged to clean up the store, but it seems they still have a long way to go.
A quick search around and you can find many fake or fraudulent apps mimicking popular software, video games, and more. Although it is worth noting there appears to be fewer of these apps than there were a few years ago.
While the Microsoft Store is still plagued with scam game listings, there are always going to be a few rotten eggs and both the Apple App Store and Google Play store have their fair share of malware and fraudulent apps too. Scammers are always going to take advantage of these systems where they can, and those more vulnerable who may not know any better.
It’s important that you as a user always use double-check the listed publisher(s) and developer(s), read user reviews (although they can be faked too), and if in doubt, don’t download. And if you do come across these apps, report them, which I have done in the case of “BarleyGames Studio” and any other fraudulent apps I found while researching this story.
As mentioned this was a tip from our reader Sacb0y, so if you have a story or scoop you’d like us to investigate feel free to contact us.
This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!