The Android Market, now known as the Google Play, as well as Apple's App Store, are known how being the home of some fairly blatant rip offs of popular games. Though the most popular victim is Nintendo; both marketplaces are filled to the brim with blatant and lazy Super Mario, Pokemon, and the like clones.
Though one very recent example which turned quite a few heads is Era's Adventures 3D, which stars someone who looks very much like Yoshi. Even if his penchant for gobbling up enemies of the Mushroom Kingdom and transforming them into eggs has been replaced by shooting fireballs, there's no denying that it's Mario's steed:
Again, a smart phone game ripping off a Nintendo IP has become standard practice, but the reason why Era's Adventures 3D has gotten so much attention is due to the amount of work that apparently went in.
Unlike the vast majority of clones that are a gaudy collection of ripped off level designs and sprites, this particular game actually looks competently put together (again, relatively speaking; there's still no denying that Yoshi/Era looks completely out of place in his/her surroundings). Though gameplay appears to leave much to be desired, unless blowing crates is your thing.
But here's the craziest part: the creator of the game, Botond Kopacz, claims that he was not aware of his actions. Ars Technia, when writing about Era's Adventures 3D, decided to reach out to its developer, who surprisingly responded. And this is what he had to say:
"Actually this is an indie game developed by one developer, so due to the limitation of effort, I purchased a cute character from TurboSquid, one of the biggest 3D asset stores, without knowing the background story of the character Yoshi, since I'm not a Super Mario fan."
After the game was released in the Play Store, Kopacz began getting letters from numerous Super Mario fans, which led to him to do some investigating on his own, and only then did he realize what he had done.
Ars Technica decided to verify Kopacz's story, and as it turns out, there is indeed a Yoshi model in Turbosquid's database, which provides royalty free 3D models at cost.
Though the clearly ignorant game maker basically loses all credibility (which is not a whole lot to begin with) with the following statement:
"Since no assets are stolen from any Nintendo game or website and the Yoshi's name is not present anywhere, there is no copyright violation. [There would be] at least pattern violation if the 3D model is detailedly registered in the US pattern database."
Kopacz also states that he's in the process of modifying the character, to avoid any similarity.