Thursday, June 25, 2015

All American Civil War Games Removed From the App Store

Tasos Lazarides (via Paul Haddad):

It’s looking like Apple has pulled everything from the App Store that features a Confederate flag, regardless of context. The reasoning Apple is sending developers is “…because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.” We just spoke with Andrew from HexWar Games, who have released many historical strategy games. He insists, “We’re in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way, we used it purely because historically that was the flag that was used at the time.”

Joe Rossignol:

Apple has sent a removal letter to affected developers to inform them that their app does not comply with Section 19.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines.

“19.1 Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.”

Josh Centers:

The flag has been increasingly under fire in the wake of the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, and retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have withdrawn sales of items depicting it. However, some say that Apple has gone too far, since the ban also includes a number of Civil War games that used the flag in a historical context, some of which were used by educators.

It has never made sense to me why Apple bans apps for certain kinds of content yet continues to sell books, movies, and music that include that same content.

Update (2015-06-26): Kwame Opam:

Civil War games with educational or historical value won’t be banned, says Apple.


However, the statement might make matters more confusing for some developers, as Apple appears to be removing all games that depict the flag.

Update (2015-07-07): Kyle Orland:

Reports and public statements from Apple suggest the company is working to reinstate games that use the flag in an “educational or historical” context.


Despite that statement, yesterday saw the App Store removal of numerous games that use the Confederate flag merely to represent the Southern side in historical war simulations.

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"Ready. Fire. Aim." App Store SOP.

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