from the frenemies dept
It's not much of a secret that Apple sees itself as some kind of supreme overlord of apps for its iProducts. And that supreme overlord has some very puritanical views, it seems: no nudity, no literature, and no immoral comics (censorship claims based solely on Apple's pure-as-the-driven-snow morality indexer). Far be it from a silly little human like myself to question whether our overlords' iron-grip is good for the app ecosystem, but with all the questionable decisions that seemed to be made in the name of the app approval process, perhaps it's time for a more democratized solution, like letting customers decide whether they want something or not.
I say that because when we've reached the point that a World War 2 strategy game is initially rejected for app store inclusion for the sin of having Nazi enemies in the game, we've reached an absurdity level typically reserved for Monty Python sketches.
Hunted Cow Studios chief Andrew Mullholland just sent me screenshots of the status of Tank Battle: East Front 1942, the followup to the WWII wargame we just reviewed last week. Apple has rejected the game for having Germans and Russians in it. I’m not kidding.Apple...come on. They're Nazis. Somewhere between playing war as children, playing video games, watching movies, or pretending they're Indiana Jones, roughly every damned person on the planet has either pretend-killed a Nazi or watched a Nazi getting pretend-killed. That's what Nazis are for. You want a little mildly violent entertainment, but you need a fall-guy to shoot at so your friends and family won't think you're a jerk...boom, Nazis! This initial rejection was all the more silly since the game is set in a historical period when half the world was at war with, you guessed it, the Nazis!We found that your app contains content or features that include people from a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically, we noticed your app depicts real entity as the enemies.
Now, because not everyone at Apple is a lobotomized monkey that's been dipping into Steve Jobs' left-behind liquor cabinet, the decision to reject the game was quickly reversed.
Andrew Mulholland just wrote in to say that Apple re-reviewed the game and have reversed their decision without Hunted Cow Studios having to make any changes. Common sense prevails. Tank Battle: East Front 1942 will be on the App Store tonight at midnight.Nonsense. In what world is it common sense prevailing for this to have ever happened to begin with? The whole censorious process is an amalgam of frustrated confusion, created only because Apple wants to play parent rather than letting their child of an app store go free and grow up. We're talking about an entire situation that never need have happened, and we're calling it a win for common sense?