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Apple extinguishes popular marijuana growing game 'Weed Firm' from iOS App Store

post #1 of 71
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Popular free iOS game "Weed Firm," which reached No. 1 on the App Store charts, was removed by Apple on Wednesday, drawing criticism from the developer due to the continued availability of other applications that feature illegal activity.




Manitoba Games issued a statement on its website this week saying that the removal of Weed Firm from the App Store was "entirely Apple's decision." They went on to note that a number of weed-based applications remain available, "as well as games promoting other so-called 'illegal activities' such as shooting people, crashing cars and throwing birds at buildings."

The developer has pledged to edit the game and bring it back to the App Store in a new, censored form. Manitoba Games touted the openness of Google's Android platform, and said Weed Firm will remain "as censorship free as possible" on non-iOS devices.

"We do not want kids playing Weed Firm, but we firmly believe that adults should have a choice to do whatever the hell they want as long as they are not hurting anybody in the process," the developer said.

In the game, "Weed Firm" players could grow and sell their own marijuana, all while interacting with gangsters and criminals in an effort to maximize profits. Its removal was first noted on Wednesday by Cnet.

Apple's App Store review process has always been something of a mystery and point of frustration for some developers. The company requires that all applications be reviewed and approved before they are made available to download, ensuring quality control and also restricting the availability of objectionable content.




But inappropriate applications do occasionally slip through the cracks and must be pulled after they have been made available. It's unknown exactly why Apple opted to pull "Weed Firm," however, given that it was approved for the App Store and comparable applications continue to remain available.

For example, as of Wednesday afternoon, the App Store still offers "Weed Farmer," "Weed Tycoon," and "iRoll Up Friends," three marijuana-related games that feature similar subject matter.

Apple first began to pull back the curtain on its review process in 2010 when it published its App Store Review Guidelines. Those have been continuously updated ever since, in an effort to explain to developers what kinds of content are considered unacceptable on the App Store.

Last October, Apple announced that there were more than 1 million apps available on the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad. At that time, users had downloaded more than 60 billion applications in the App Store's history.
post #2 of 71
Why doesn't Apple just implement a ratings system a la the ESRB?
post #3 of 71

Bad decision by Apple. What's wrong with a game about weed?

 

Games like Grand Theft Auto are on the app store.

 

And weed is not illegal everywhere, it is legal in a few states, and it is medically legal in many more states. It's only a matter of time before it is legal in most places. Ignorant people, corrupt politicians, big pharmacy and alcohol producers will not be able to stop it.

 

Everybody should smoke weed, it's much better and less harmful than alcohol. Prohibition never works, and I recommend that everybody breaks the law. 

post #4 of 71

Illegal activity?!

 

What about GTA and every other video game that features antiheroes?

 

What's next, are they going to remove BREAKING BAD from iTunes?

 

Illegal activity!

post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Everybody should smoke weed, it's much better and less harmful than alcohol.

Uhh?  Everybody should get drunk, it's much better and less harmful than heroin.

See how illogical that thinking is (probably the weed talking)?

 

Nothing against weed smokers- go for it.  But I'd rather not smoke weed unless I get a painful disease of some sort.

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post #6 of 71

Jobs would've opposed this decision

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post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

And weed is not illegal everywhere, it is legal in a few states....

 

Everybody should smoke weed, it's much better and less harmful than alcohol. 

 

Just because a particular state removed its laws against it doesn't mean it's not illegal.  There are still federal laws against it.  So this is simply incorrect.

 

I've seen what pot does to people who can't see what it's doing to them.  No one should use recreational drugs.  Since that's true, I don't mind taking any and all flak for saying it.

 

As for Apple removing the game from the store, they're a business, and if they think the detriment to their image for having that particular game in the store is weightier than the perceived business benefit should they keep it, it makes sense for them to make that decision.  GTA may be profitable enough for them that said profit outweighs the reputation hit they may take for keeping it.  I'm not saying that's right, just that it's business.

 

On the other hand Apple does plenty of other things because they feel it's 'right' even if it doesn't 'make business sense'.

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You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

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post #8 of 71

I guess Apple will pass on grass...good to know they are pulling the weeds when they need to...

post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post
 

Just because a particular state removed its laws against it doesn't mean it's not illegal.  There are still federal laws against it.  So this is simply incorrect.

 

Yes, the feds are still against it, but eventually they will have to cave, because more and more states are going to jump on the legalization bandwagon.

 

History has shown that prohibition has the opposite effect.

post #10 of 71

So it's okay for an app to feature illegal activity, unless the bad press it generates starts to embarrass Apple?

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

Nothing against weed smokers- go for it.  But I'd rather not smoke weed unless I get a painful disease of some sort.

 

And I don't have any problems with you, if you choose not to partake. That's your choice of course. I do have problems with those who believe that they should decide what others should do and not do.

post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post
 

So it's okay for an app to feature illegal activity, unless the bad press it generates starts to embarrass Apple?

 

The App Store has plenty of apps depicting "illegal" activity, including "Grand Theft Auto." One might assume Apple got a complaint, which led to the takedown. Frankly, the rules seem a bit uneven and are randomly applied, but it is Apple's store and they ultimately make the decisions to sell whatever they want.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #13 of 71

Legal or not, Apple doesn't want a game that involves growing weed.

But games that involve killing animals or people? (an activity that's most certainly illegal) and shoot-em-up games? No problem. 

post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

And I don't have any problems with you, if you choose not to partake. That's your choice of course. I do have problems with those who believe that they should decide what others should do and not do.

Honestly- I'm all for weed smokers.  All for it.  I need people dumber than me so it makes my rise to the top easier ;)

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post #15 of 71
Inconsistent and bad decision by apple!
Just adopt a rating system!

Whats up Apple ..u want to push more and more people to android? Or make ios a baby brand ?
post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

Honestly- I'm all for weed smokers.  All for it.  I need people dumber than me so it makes my rise to the top easier ;)

 

That would be a gross misconception on your part, because many awesome things have been made under the influence of weed.

 

If somebody is dumb to begin with, then they will of course continue to remain dumb, no matter what they do or what they take, but weed does not necessarily make smart people dumber. It can be said that weed enlightens the mind and opens up lanes of creativity.

 

The stereotypes of weed users are not accurate at all. Not all weed users are glued to their couches, watching tv and eating cheetos all day long. And weed doesn't make "negro" men go out and rape white women. That's what they used to say before about it. And what they're saying about it today is not correct either. It's all lies.

post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

Jobs would've opposed this decision

Its not acid. :)

post #18 of 71
Break out the Cheetos and pepperidge farms goldfish.

This from the company founded by a couple of guys who smoked enough of it, back in the day.

Now the only thing they consume at One Infinite Loop is Kool-Aid - quite a bit of it apparently. . .
post #19 of 71
Hey Dev, why even release an iOS app if you hate the App Store policies. Oh, money.

Perhaps it's not the real reason the app got pulled.
post #20 of 71

I do like it as simple as it is. It immediately reminded me of a crass version of lemonade stand - balancing creating supply with a few risks.

post #21 of 71

Isn't this Apple's choice to do what it wants to do?

post #22 of 71
I love this game!
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post
 

I do like it as simple as it is. It immediately reminded me of a crass version of lemonade stand - balancing creating supply with a few risks.

 

I used to play Lemonade Stand back in the day in elementary school. It was probably one of the first computer games that I ever played.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dUbDDmXp2I

post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metrix View Post
 

Isn't this Apple's choice to do what it wants to do?

 

And it's other people's choice to criticize Apple for their actions, which can be seen as extremely hypocritical.

post #25 of 71
So I guess in this instance it's ok to criticize Apple?
post #26 of 71

I'm thinking though that maybe we don't know the full story, because there are still many marijuana and weed apps on the appstore. I just checked.

 

Maybe this app was violating some other rule, and if that's the case, and the reason for it being pulled has nothing to do with marijuana, then that's a different story.

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

So it's okay for an app to feature illegal activity, unless the bad press it generates starts to embarrass Apple?
I think this is exactly the case. The reason this app was pulled and other weed apps were not is because this one became too visible.

I think it is interesting that this story and the previous one that pointed out how Android's fragmented hardware capabilities (re the gyroscope) made one app prohibitively difficult to release outside of iOS.

It is two sides of the same coin. Because Apple handles everything (hardware, operating system, App Store) customers get a seamless, high quality experience while Android customers get a piecemeal product. However, the seamlessness of Apples product also means that Apple is held responsible for _everything_ on the iPhone. If a weed app makes it to #1 and opposition begins to mount, everyone looks at Apple.

On Android, the same app would not be blaimed on any one company. Samsung: we just make the phone. Google: we just make the platform. Verizon: we just provide the connection. The Developer: hey, don't buy my app if you don't like it... People opposed to something have no central place to focus their anger.

Add to this that any story about Apple automatically makes it more newsworthy, and it just exacerbates the situation!

I am uncomfortable with Apple taking on this ill-defined gatekeeper role and I wish they had a rating system like others suggest, but I understand why they do it. They are too easy a target...
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post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

And weed is not illegal everywhere, it is legal in a few states....

 

Everybody should smoke weed, it's much better and less harmful than alcohol. 

 

Just because a particular state removed its laws against it doesn't mean it's not illegal.  There are still federal laws against it.  So this is simply incorrect.

 

I've seen what pot does to people who can't see what it's doing to them.  No one should use recreational drugs.  Since that's true, I don't mind taking any and all flak for saying it.

 

As for Apple removing the game from the store, they're a business, and if they think the detriment to their image for having that particular game in the store is weightier than the perceived business benefit should they keep it, it makes sense for them to make that decision.  GTA may be profitable enough for them that said profit outweighs the reputation hit they may take for keeping it.  I'm not saying that's right, just that it's business.

 

On the other hand Apple does plenty of other things because they feel it's 'right' even if it doesn't 'make business sense'.

 

There are no federal laws against simulated illegal activity that I am aware of. Again out of all of the illegal activity both real and simulated, the pot smokers draw the criticism.

post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

So I guess in this instance it's ok to criticize Apple?

If you are stoned, yes.

post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post

Just because a particular state removed its laws against it doesn't mean it's not illegal.  There are still federal laws against it.  So this is simply incorrect.

I've seen what pot does to people who can't see what it's doing to them.  No one should use recreational drugs.  Since that's true, I don't mind taking any and all flak for saying it.

As for Apple removing the game from the store, they're a business, and if they think the detriment to their image for having that particular game in the store is weightier than the perceived business benefit should they keep it, it makes sense for them to make that decision.  GTA may be profitable enough for them that said profit outweighs the reputation hit they may take for keeping it.  I'm not saying that's right, just that it's business.

On the other hand Apple does plenty of other things because they feel it's 'right' even if it doesn't 'make business sense'.

What nonsense! I've seen what can happen when people stop taking their meds, and it can be disastrous! Thank god I 'm in Colorado right now!
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

 

There are no federal laws against simulated illegal activity that I am aware of. Again out of all of the illegal activity both real and simulated, the pot smokers draw the criticism.

 

There is at least one thing that you could simulate where you could wind up in jail (and I'd be cheering it all the way). I like that there's a thick dark line between what's legal and illegal for some of these things. Most of the other things are probably just going to cause you trouble as well as piss off and waste the time of those charged with keeping order.

 

And FYI - there's very foul language in this game. You might argue it's because there are some crass characters in the game. One character is seriously nasty and,  wow, what a mouth! I'm no prude. And yeah, so what that there is a nasty character? That's how life is, right? But I also know they could have used other vocabulary to demonstrate that.

 

App or web site or book or whatever, I'd feel the same. I'm not shocked that they've pulled this.

post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I am uncomfortable with Apple taking on this ill-defined gatekeeper role and I wish they had a rating system like others suggest, but I understand why they do it. They are too easy a target...

 

I used to think Apple's curation was a plus, but, like you it seems, I'm no longer so convinced. The App Store may have a million apps -- a good marketing claim, I suppose -- but 95% of them are crap. Perhaps the ratio on Google Play is 98%. Apple can claim that its store contains proportionately 60% less crap, while Google can claim that its store contains only a little more crap. Is it worth the big investment? 

 

All the "me too" weed store apps that are still in the App Store are a clear indication that there's something to what I'm saying. 

 

That said, since you're right to note that anything Apple-related is automatically more newsworthy (and it does after all have by far the most successful app store), Apple will probably still get bad press the next time this happens.

post #33 of 71
Weed has been demonised since the 1930's and people have been imprisoned on essentially bull excrement for decades. the only reason it has not been decriminalized sooner is it was filling the rooms at the privately owned corporate prisons and getting many unhappy customers for the so called reformatory industry. For apple not to be on the side of reason finally prevailing is ludicrous. lets have a "jail the little brown people" while they await deportation game because thats the new paridigm to keep the rooms filled and the prison companies and corrections industry well fed (90 % of Arizona's prisons are privately owned)

to deem this inappropriate on the basis of propaganda os a crime against reson
post #34 of 71
I can't believe you removed my comment , it is definitely the corrections system that has kept this gentle herb on the poo list for decades the damage these laws have done to so many (mostly black) lives so far out ways the shock value of the stupid game. people who abuse pot will be fired from their jobs and live the same lives as alcoholics today it is a self regulating situation. Responsible recreational users will not be noticed. if there are any government enforcement from this point on it will be the result of lobbying by the incarceration industry.
post #35 of 71
"I've seen what pot does to people who can't see what it's doing to them. No one should use recreational drugs. Since that's true, I don't mind taking any and all flak for saying it."

And its people like you who continue to support the disastrous drug war.... Adults should be able to decide for themselves if they want to take the risk, just as we don't regular unprotected sex or eating too much fast food.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I am uncomfortable with Apple taking on this ill-defined gatekeeper role and I wish they had a rating system like others suggest, but I understand why they do it. They are too easy a target...

I used to think Apple's curation was a plus, but, like you it seems, I'm no longer so convinced. The App Store may have a million apps -- a good marketing claim, I suppose -- but 95% of them are crap. Perhaps the ratio on Google Play is 98%. Apple can claim that its store contains proportionately 60% less crap, while Google can claim that its store contains only a little more crap. Is it worth the big investment? 

All the "me too" weed store apps that are still in the App Store are a clear indication that there's something to what I'm saying. 

That said, since you're right to note that anything Apple-related is automatically more newsworthy (and it does after all have by far the most successful app store), Apple will probably still get bad press the next time this happens.

Seeing as I know that you have tested less than 5% of the apps on the App Store, your claim that 95% of the apps are crap is 100% bullshit.
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post #37 of 71
This was a good decision by Apple; and the right one.

I imagine that Steve Jobs would have done the same; he held family values to be very important, which is why there are no porn apps on the App Store.
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post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post


Seeing as I know that you have tested less than 5% of the apps on the App Store, your claim that 95% of the apps are crap is 100% bullshit.

 

About 50% of the apps I've actually tested are crap...and those are the ones I thought looked promising. I'm confident that 95% of them are actually crap. Of course my specific numbers are guesses. And "crap" is anyway a subjective label. My crappy apps may not be the same as yours. 

 

By your logic, nobody could make a claim about a store without trying every item. Do you like McDonalds? Whether you like it or hate it, have you tried every item on the menu? I doubt it. Then how do you know you like or hate McDonalds? 

 

Also: Sturgeon's law. Q.E.D.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

And its people like you who continue to support the disastrous drug war.... Adults should be able to decide for themselves if they want to take the risk, just as we don't regular unprotected sex or eating too much fast food.

At least you are likening smoking Pot to other irresponsible acts.

 

I'm all for the legalization, but you can see where people see a slippery slope about the "adults should be able to decide for themselves" argument.  That argument is an empty one because there are hundreds of things you support the government ban on and you don't even know it.  Heroin?  Lead in paint?  Asbestos?  Why not keep the lead in paint and let the consumer decide if they should use it or not.  That's your similar argument.  The way this country is setup- we vote for the politicians to represent us and then they vote on the issues that we want as our representatives.  If that's legalizing weed, then thats how they should vote.  If its banning asbestos- then thats how they should vote.  Unless I overlooked our constitutional right of "you have the right to get high". Yes- it's flawed, we don't need to get into that sidebar.  But it's less flawed than "adults should be able to decide for themselves".  That's called anarchy.

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

There are no federal laws against simulated illegal activity that I am aware of. Again out of all of the illegal activity both real and simulated, the pot smokers draw the criticism.

There is at least one thing that you could simulate where you could wind up in jail (and I'd be cheering it all the way). I like that there's a thick dark line between what's legal and illegal for some of these things. Most of the other things are probably just going to cause you trouble as well as piss off and waste the time of those charged with keeping order.

And FYI - there's very foul language in this game. You might argue it's because there are some crass characters in the game. One character is seriously nasty and,  wow, what a mouth! I'm no prude. And yeah, so what that there is a nasty character? That's how life is, right? But I also know they could have used other vocabulary to demonstrate that.

App or web site or book or whatever, I'd feel the same. I'm not shocked that they've pulled this.

Yeah, I was aware of the issues with that one. Pretty special exception and while the pictures are simulated, your possession is not. Pictures of pot plants is not a problem. I'm also sure there is some really vulgar movies to compare the game too. Sounds like the game should be NC-17 or something, but not censored. They are burning their virtual books as we speak.
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