Apple App Store rejects Syrian Civil War iOS game

“Apple’s App Store has rejected a game that allows users to explore the different factions, consequences and outcomes of Syria’s ongoing civil war, because it deals with a ‘real entity,'” Liat Clark reports for Wired UK.

“U.K. game developer Auroch Digital launched Endgame: Syria as part of its Game The News project, which aims to get the public interacting with and reconsidering the concept of gaming, with politically and socially relevant topics infiltrating a medium usually reserved purely for fiction,” Clark reports. “The latter, says Auroch Digital’s creative director Tomas Rawlings, is a trend that we should not be afraid to challenge. ‘Obviously games about war are nothing new, but a game about an ongoing existing war, I think that makes some people uncomfortable,’ Rawlings explained in the game’s official trailer. ‘I get why, and that’s because with the very word game the association is fun and frivolous, and war is serious. People are really dying. But I see game as a term for medium — if it’s more comfortable you could call it simulation, an exploration or an interactive guide…. As a game designer I’m interested in the situation [in Syria] and I want to explore it, and the medium that that’s natural for me to explore it in is via a game.'”

Clark reports, “Apple, however, did not agree. Weeks passed after the game was submitted to the App Store, and eventually Rawlings found out it would not be accepted — it did not abide by the store’s terms and conditions, which state that no game should ‘solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity.'”

Read more in the full article here.

James Gilmour reports for Pocket Gamer, “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,” Gilmour reports. “Although Pacific Fleet was eventually approved by Apple, the developer was forced to remove all Japanese flags from the game.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: iOS device users can experience the HTML5 version of Endgame: Syria here


  1. “Although Pacific Fleet was eventually approved by Apple, the developer was forced to remove all Japanese flags from the game.”

    Absolute FSCKING bullshit Apple. Guess what, WWII happened and the Japanese got their asses kicked. You cant change that.

    Fscking asshats.

    1. The trouble with this point of view is that any game involving references to WW11 will mostly be seen by the PRESENT crop of humans who were not around in the ’40’s – no point rubbing anyone’s noses in something they may wish to leave to history.

      Current generations in some countries around the world have some really painful histories to come to terms with but lets be honest, I don’t think there’s hardly any country on Earth without something to be ashamed of in the past – but to make a GAME about it is abstracting things a little too far IMHO.

      1. …plus Apple are trying to trade with Japan and other countries around the world – it might look a little insensitive to market games brazenly showing these countries getting their asses kicked!?

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