Shock! Horror! Apple rejects Syrian civil war game
By James Gilmour 08 January 2013
Game Name: Endgame: Syria | Developer: Auroch Digital | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Strategy
Apple has rejected a game centred on the current Syrian civil war on the grounds that it falls foul of the App Store guidelines.
According to a press release from Endgame: Syria developer Auroch Digital, Apple felt that the game contravened an App Store policy preventing the sale of games in which enemies "solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation".
"This decision is a shame, really, as it makes it hard to talk about the real world," designer Tomas Rawlings said in a statement.
"We had hoped that Apple would be more nuanced in how they applied this rule."
This isn't the first time Apple has brought down the banhammer in the name of cultural sensitivity.
Naval combat title Pacific Fleet's first App Store docking attempt was unsuccessful, after The Big A's App Store approval team decided the game's portrayal of the World War II conflict between America and Japan was discriminatory.
Although Pacific Fleet was eventually approved by Apple, the developer was forced to remove all Japanese flags from the game.
This latest flexing of Apple's regulatory biceps serves to highlight the policy gulf that exists between the App Store and Google Play.
You see, Android customers can play the unedited version of Endgame: Syria right now. In fact, they've been able to play it for the past four weeks.
Google's more 'hands-off approach' to its online Android marketplace has made the search giant's app store a haven for rejected App Store submissions, with disallowed trafficking satire Smuggle Truck and US election spoof Angry Election both finding a home on Google Play in their original uncensored form.
Smuggle Truck (left), Angry Elections (right)
"I get that Apple want to make sure really offensive titles don't pass into their store, but ours [Endgame: Syria] is far from that," Rawlings continues.
"Our aim is to use games as a format to bring news to a new audience, and submission processes such as this do make it a lot harder for us."
Although Auroch Digital intends to resubmit Endgame: Syria to Apple, Rawlings believes the changes his company will be forced to make will "strip some of the meaning and context from it".
You can grab the unaltered version of Endgame: Syria for free from Google Play now [download].
Those of an iOS persuasion, meanwhile, will just have to settle for watching a YouTube video of the game. Sorry, folks.