The game in question is Pac-avoid, which game artist Matthew Cox said this week is a direct and deliberate clone of his game Scamperghost. Cox claimed that when contract discussion between himself and King fell trhough in 2009, King paid another developer to clone Scamperghost, and almost released the new version before Cox could get the original out.
Now a spokesperson for King has sent me a statement to clarify the company's position:
“King does not clone other peoples’ games. King believes that IP – both our own IP and that of others – is important and should be properly protected. Like any prudent company, we take all appropriate steps to protect our IP in a sensible and fair way. At the same time, we are respectful of the rights and IP of other developers. Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP. However, for the avoidance of doubt, in this case, this game – which was coded by a third-party developer 5 years ago – is being taken down.”
When she says "we take all appropriate steps to protect our IP" she's likely referring to the other King-related news this week—namely King brandishing a "candy" trademark against competing mobile games.
At the time of this writing Pac-avoid is still playable on royalgames.com, but it seems that might not last for much longer.