App Store reviewers rejecting games for depicting guns or violence in screenshots - report

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2015
Apple may have altered its guidelines for marketing violent games in the App Store, as reviewers are reportedly rejecting some games that have guns or show human violence in their screenshots or app icons.

Apple reportedly asked Team Chaos to alter the original icon for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens, left, because it depicted an NES zapper gun.
Apple reportedly asked Team Chaos to alter the original icon for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens, left, because it depicted an NES zapper gun.


Multiple game developers have been forced to alter their games' App Store promotional materials to remove images of guns and violence, according to PocketGamer. Among those that ran afoul of the new criteria was Splash Damage's recently-released Tempo, which now features guns censored via pixelation in its screenshots.

Pascal Bestebroer, the developer behind pixel-art shooter Gunslugs 2 --?which initially suffered a rejection, but was later accepted without any changes --?told Kotaku that he believes Apple is worried about cleaning up areas of the App Store which are not behind an age gate.

"The idea behind it, from what I understand, is that even tho the app has a 12+ rating, they do need icons and screenshots and basically the store-page to be 4+ rated," he wrote. "So screenshots should not show anything that is below the 12+ rating.. which is a bit hard to do for most action games."

If Apple has altered its criteria, the new standards are not being applied evenly. Playdemic's Gang Nations, last updated on Wednesday, shows cartoon gang members pointing revolvers at each other, for instance.

Apple has stayed officially silent on the issue, but Jim Dalrymple of The Loop notes that the company has been "more liberal" about screenshots and images. "I don't know the specifics of individual games," Dalrymple wrote, "but overall, Apple is being more lenient of late."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43

    Apple's store, Apple's rules.

  • Reply 2 of 43
    Apple's store, Apple's rules.

    Yes, but that seems like an excessively overgeneralized rule. If an NES gun depicted in cartoon form isn't allowed will they also not allow paint guns and other handheld devices?
  • Reply 3 of 43
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Apple's store, Apple's rules.

    Yes, but that seems like an excessively overgeneralized rule. If an NES gun depicted in cartoon form isn't allowed will they also not allow paint guns and other handheld devices?

    Doesn't matter.

    Give me a walled garden over Android any day. In fact, I'd be more than happy if they were even stricter over what icons are allowed for apps.

    At the moment, the App Store is crying out for an overhaul. Thousands upon thousands of apps need to disappear like yesterday, and we need subcategories, subcategories of subcategories and more subcategories (TS).
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Finger guns. The answer is finger guns.
    They go finger bang.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member

    Man, people are such wimps these days.

  • Reply 6 of 43

    Utter psychosis. This’ll be reversed.

  • Reply 7 of 43
    arlorarlor Posts: 477member

    On the one hand, I can understand wanting to childproof the store, since kids can browse it without entering an Apple ID. 

     

    On the other hand, it misleads customers as to what kind of images, etc. the game contains -- even if there's an age warning. 

  • Reply 9 of 43

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Ahem.

     

    I present Dalrymple: http://www.loopinsight.com/2015/02/12/about-apple-cracking-down-on-app-store-screenshots/

     

    Thank you.


     

    Ahem. I present literally the entire last paragraph of the article:

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple has stayed officially silent on the issue, but Jim Dalrymple of The Loop notes that the company has been "more liberal" about screenshots and images. "I don't know the specifics of individual games," Dalrymple wrote, "but overall, Apple is being more lenient of late."

  • Reply 10 of 43
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,345member

    These sort of inexplicable policy enforcement changes happen from time to time, and seem to be tied to one individual, either a manager or an individual contributor.

     

    We have seen this sort of manic behavior from other sites like BoingBoing's forum moderation under Teresa Nielsen Hayden's watch, probably a benchmark for people not suited for forum moderation performing that task.

  • Reply 11 of 43
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Yes, but that seems like an excessively overgeneralized rule. If an NES gun depicted in cartoon form isn't allowed will they also not allow paint guns and other handheld devices?

    Wouldn't the depiction of another company's intellectual property in the app icon constitute a violation of Apple's guidelines? I think so.

    Regarding the blurring of gun images in preview screens... Just guessing that because the iOS App Store is international numerous countries probably have bans on certain images?
  • Reply 12 of 43
    <p>Ahem.</p><p> </p><p>I present Dalrymple: http://www.loopinsight.com/2015/02/12/about-apple-cracking-down-on-app-store-screenshots/</p><p> </p><p>Thank you.</p>
    bobjohnson wrote: »

    That wasnt there when I posted lol, or I REALLY missed it.
  • Reply 13 of 43

    when did this country become full of such overprotective wimps!?

  • Reply 14 of 43
    Originally Posted by Firechild22 View Post

    when did this country become full of such overprotective wimps!?



    1968 or so.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    Wouldn't the depiction of another company's intellectual property in the app icon constitute a violation of Apple's guidelines? I think so.

    Regarding the blurring of gun images in preview screens... Just guessing that because the iOS App Store is international numerous countries probably have bans on certain images?

    Nazi symbols are a no-no in Germany, I know that's an issue for Wolfenstein.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    I think Apple needs to let the customers, most of whom are 18 , be the final arbiters of whether or not to purchase any App that depicts guns or violence in screenshots. I want Apple to continue to make exciting innovative products, instead of deciding for me what Apps are or aren't appropriate. Time to forgo their paternalistic attitude.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    Finger guns. The answer is finger guns.
    They go finger bang.

    Worked for me when I was young. That was back when a kid could bring a gun to school as long as it was unloaded. Of course no one even thought about shooting up a school. It just wasn't done.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Guns don't kill people. Pictures of guns kill people. Apple is just playing it safe, because last year alone, App Store images of people holding guns killed 0 people worldwide. It's an epidemic that must be stopped.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Just swap out the guns for mobile phones.

  • Reply 20 of 43
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    Worked for me when I was young. That was back when a kid could bring a gun to school as long as it was unloaded. Of course no one even thought about shooting up a school. It just wasn't done.



    Who in their right mind would bring a gun to school  even if is was unloaded.What year was this may i ask?

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