A new game was developed based on the current Syrian civil war going on, Endgame: Syria, but Apple has decided to reject it from the App Store because it doesn’t comply with the App Store guidelines.
According to a press release from the developer of Endgame: Syria, Auroch Digital, Apple said the game contravened an App Store policy that prevents selling games where enemies “solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation.”
Thomas Rawlings responded in a statement: “This decision is a shame, really, as it makes it hard to talk about the real world. We had hoped that Apple would be more nuanced in how they applied this rule.” Thing is, this is exactly how Apple has responded in the past, and it’s exactly how they’ll respond in the future. At this point, it’s not really rocket science, and you don’t have to be a scientist to figure out how Apple’s going to react to this type of application.
This isn’t the first time Apple has rejected games because they don’t comply with this App Store guideline. Naval combat app Pacific Fleet was initially rejected by Apple because it was decided the game’s depiction of the World War II conflict between America and Japan was discriminatory. Pacific Fleet was eventually accepted into the App Store, but the developer was required to remove all Japanese flags from the game.
Apple’s decision really highlights the differences in policy between the App Store and Google Play. While it was rejected by Apple, Android users have been able to play the unedited version of Endgame: Syria for the past month.
Google has a much more “hands-off approach” than Apple when it comes to the online Android marketplace, which has made it a place for plenty of rejected App Store submissions with games like Smuggle Truck and Angry Election, a spoof of a U.S. election. Both games are available on Google Play in their original uncensored form.
Rawlings continues: “I get that Apple want to make sure really offensive titles don’t pass into their store, but ours is far from that. our aim is to use games as a format to bring news to a new audience, and submission process such as this do make it a lot harder for us.”
Auroch Digital is planning to resubmit Endgame: Syria to Apple, but Rawlings feels that the changes that they are forced to make will “strip some of the meaning and context from it.”
So if you’re an Android user you can play this game for free through Google Play, but iOS users will have to wait until an approved version is accepted. You can check out a video of the game above.
It would also be interesting to see how Apple would react to a game like EA’s Battlefield Vietnam, or other history-based games from major publishe,rs if they were submitted to the App Store. Is the same fate awaiting EA should they choose to bring those titles to iOS? That’s the real question here.