The developer of a controversial smartphone game featuring a dead Mongrel Mob member is now working on a new app, this time with the police as the enemy.
Supreme Studios pulled its app, Mongrel Mob Defence, after receiving threats for using the image of a dead Mongrel Mob member without consent.
- Developers pull Mongrel Mob app after threats
- Black Power member threatens legal action after his image is used in controversial app
As a result, it told Newshub on Tuesday it would no longer release a planned follow-up app called Black Power Defence.
"We will not be republishing the app and there will be no follow-up titles."
But on Thursday, Newshub heard from the developers again - this time, announcing a new game, South Auckland Defence.
"South Auckland Defence has no affiliation to any gangs, New Zealand-based or international, and allows players to choose which colour they'd like to represent and defend against the police force."
Supreme studios, a formerly little-known app developer, launched their controversial game Mongrel Mob Defence last Friday.
The game, which was available on Google Play, allowed players to pose as a member of the aforementioned gang and protect their territory from rival gang Black Power.
The app was immediately criticised for promoting gang violence, and for using an image of deceased Mongrel Mob member William Hurinui - known as Greco - as the face of one of the game's avatars.
In an email, Supreme Studios told Newshub much of the criticism was unfair, claiming actual gang members had no problem with the game.
"We have had a few patch members play the game for themselves and often they will just laugh and shake their head in disbelief."
"The majority absolutely love it."
But the developer, formerly called Soundboard Studios and then Supremacy, also admitted they made a "huge mistake" in their decision to use Greco's image.
In response to the backlash it invited users to submit photos of themselves to feature in the app's then-planned update, Black Power Defence.
Mongrel Mob Defence was removed from Google Play, but Supreme Studios says it's not because of the Greco controversy, but rather "disruptive ads".
Supreme Studios told Newshub in an email that they don't believe the app violated Google's ad policy and they have submitted an appeal.
Newshub has contacted the New Zealand Police for comment.