You ready for a good head-shaker? Hunted Cow Studios chief Andrew Mullholland just sent me screenshots of the status of Tank Battle: East Front 1942, the followup to the WWII wargame we just reviewed last week. Apple has rejected the game for having Germans and Russians in it. I’m not kidding.
We found that your app contains content or features that include people from a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
Specifically, we noticed your app depicts real entity as the enemies.
In case you think you’ve read that wrong, I’ll summarise: a World War II-themed game that depicts fighting between two countries that actually fought in WWII breaks the rules. And apparently Drive on Moscow, Panzer Corps, and every single one of Hunted Cow’s other Tank Battle games don’t.
If this all sounds somewhat familiar to you, it’s because Apple rejected Pacific Fleet for including the IJN flag back in 2012, and then rejected GameTheNews’ Syrian Civil War game for depicting… Syrians. As I’ve said before, the problem here isn’t the guidelines themselves: hate speech has no place on the App Store. But if Apple’s approvals people can’t tell that a very run-of-the-mill World War II game isn’t hate speech, then we’ve got problems, man.
I asked Mulholland what he’s going to do now. “I really don’t know. I guess we could use ‘opposition’ [instead of ‘enemy’]?” Hunted Cow are appealing the decision.
See a screenshot of the rejection after the jump.
UPDATE (Friday 14 March): Maybe they’re reading Pocket Tactics in Cupertino? Andrew Mulholland just wrote in to say that Apple re-reviewed the game and have reversed their decision without Hunted Cow Studios having to make any changes. Common sense prevails. Tank Battle: East Front 1942 will be on the App Store tonight at midnight. Read our review of the previous installment.