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This Pokemon Clone Just Got Kicked Off Google Play

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a fine line between emulation and plagiarism. Numerous developers have used Pokemon as inspiration to craft unique games such as Temtem and Kindred Fates, while others gleefully ignored that line to pursue the dollar signs in their eyes. The problem with plagiarizing is that the bigger the franchise, the more likely its developers will send a cease and desist letter. Someone should have told that to the team behind Pocket Trainer DX.

If you've never heard of Pocket Trainer DX, it was a free-to-play Korean game that launched quite recently and stole Pokémon designs wholesale. All of your favorite creatures and characters were used to advertise Pocket Trainer DX. Despite featuring only 200 of Pokémon's near-900 creatures, the clone app sported unique animations and a decidedly non-Pokémon battle system. Regardless, Pocket Trainer DX was living on borrowed time, and the grim reaper recently paid a visit.

According to the Japanese site Nico Nico (translation via Google Translate), the South Korean branch of The Pokémon Company issued a warning to Pocket Trainer DX's developers, Fanya Game, stating the game will be removed from the Google Play store. The suits at The Pokémon Company weren't kidding, and quickly followed through on their threat. Another Japanese site, IT Media (also translated by Google Translate), reported that Pocket Trainer DX has been entirely wiped from the Google Play store. You can no longer find or download the title on the platform, and The Pokémon Company released a statement that the game was, as many suspected, unofficial. However, despite scrubbing Pocket Trainer DX from Google Play, The Pokémon Company is still investigating the app and its developer, so this is very much an in-development story.

Pocket Trainer DX is the latest in a long line of unofficial Pokémon projects that have been demolished by The Pokémon Company's lawyers. However, unlike other unofficial games, Pocket Trainer DX is unique, since it was designed to make a profit. Other nuked products, such as Pokémon Uranium and even the Pokémon Essentials engine that fueled homemade Pokémon games, were free titles made by Pokémon fans, for Pokémon fans, with no intention of ever making a dime.

Plenty of other Pokémon clones lurk throughout the internet, but many have the good sense to copy the franchise's addictive monster collection gameplay loop, not the monsters themselves.