Apple's Stance On Controversial Games Is A Little Insulting

Illustration for article titled Apples Stance On Controversial Games Is A Little Insulting

Apple has had some problems recently with "serious" titles on its iOS store, which have been falling foul of some rather tight restrictions of what can and can't be represented in a game. We've seen a Second World War game barred for using historically-accurate Japanese flags, and more recently, a game about Syria knocked back because it's about a contentious political topic.

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You'd think that, in the wake of protests about these restrictions, Apple would be doing something to maybe clean things up a little, or respond to public criticism. Nope. VentureBeat has posted some of the guidelines developers must adhere to when making games (or apps in general) for the App Store, and they basically tell you to shove it.

We view apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store.

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How diplomatic.

You hear that, game developers? Never mind that your medium allows for powerful artistic and political statements to be made, and that it's the field you're trained and qualified to work in. That stuff just doesn't fly here. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. Why? Oh, it's complicated, so let's just leave it at that. It's complicated. OK?

Apple: ‘Want to criticize religion? Write a book' - don't make a game [VentureBeat]

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DISCUSSION

Their platform, their rules.

They may need to look at changing what they can though if they want the App Store to continue to be a selling point for the Apple hardware, but these guidelines aren't going to really have an impact. As it is, Android is growing constantly, and most that go Android, don't really go back to iOS platforms.

But even though they are losing out on growth, these limitations have hardly hurt the App Store. It's still far better than Google Play for app discovery in some ways, browsing is easier. Also, so much stuff gets released on Google Play that it becomes quite a big mess of junk.

Their reasoning is stupid, but I can understand why they do want to have these restrictions in place; sometimes it's just too time consuming to deal with the issues that come up. And although sometimes the censorship is harsh, some games saying nothing that isn't known, there will always be someone wanting to simply create a controversy. And as implied, these are what cause the big problems. Not those with honest intentions, but those just looking to fuck around.