Apple Inexplicably Rejects WWII Wargame For Featuring German And Russian ‘Enemies’

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Apple is well known for its often inconsistent approach to app acceptance or rejection (more on than in this week’s upcoming Newsstand magazine), but this is a bit silly.

According to Apple, Hunted Cow developer Andrew Mullholland had his app Tank Battle: East Front 1942 rejected for App Store inclusion because it has German and Russian positioned as enemies in it.

Apple writes:

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 other words, a World War II-themed that depicts two countries fighting who actually fought in WWII, that is a sequel to an already existing game available in the App Store, somehow breaks Apple’s guidelines.

Apple has behaved this way before when it comes to historical “enemies” being depicted in games. The company initially rejected Pacific Fleet for including the IJN flag back in 2012, while a Syrian Civil War game was disallowed for depicting Syrians.

Hunted Cow is planning to appeal the decision, possibly offering to substitute the word enemy for “opposition.”

  • Guy

    They WEREN’T enemies. They were just having REALLY intense territorial disagreements along with internal spirited debates over proper religious beliefs. The fact that millions died because of it was an unfortunate unforeseen side effect. Yeah…let’s go with that.

  • Nico Morgan

    Perhaps it was because you wouldn’t be fighting against both countries as they were on different sides. Then again, who ever based these things on facts anyway?

  • David Salzberg

    WWII was a war with a clear good side (allies) and evil side (Hitler/Nazi Germany & Allies). Most wars are not so clear cut. Me thinks the apple reviewer needs to learn some history.

    • steveminion

      “WWII was a war with a clear good side (allies) and evil side (Hitler/Nazi Germany & Allies)”
      You need a history lesson about WWII. Russians (Soviets) began as allies of the Nazis and then changed side to “good” and murdered Poles, their allies. The Allies (England, USA, France etc) fought on the side of the Soviets only to defeat the Nazis. They chose the lesser of two evils… After the war, they were enemies (the Cold War).
      “The good side” of Russia we are seeing now in Ukraine.

    • monstermasten

      Still, I agree it’s not up to Apple to judge, regardless of how clear it seems to us.

      They can’t go “ok, this war was so clear, we’ll let it pass”, because then say, NATO vs Taliban game, if they don’t want to make a similar decision here, that in itself is a statement that wouldn’t be good for Apple

      So I support Apple in not allowing any real single entitiy as evil enemy. except maybe some fictional androids hehe

    • MichaelDorosh

      David, you may want to review Stalin’s historical record. As someone of Ukrainian heritage, I would note that track record includes starvation of his own people before the war, the Purges, a refusal to even believe war with Germany had started, and a final death toll at his hands that is believed to be quite possibly higher than that incurred at the hands of Hitler.

  • $8591

    Apple is turning into an anti-war, anti-military, left wing liberal operation . . . and a significant pain in the butt.

    • DarthDisney

      Oh god, this isn’t anything to do with liberal or conservative.

      And as for being anti war… you’re pro war? I guess you think it’s ok to convince teenagers to go fight for the old men in power… personally, I’d rather send every damn politician over there instead.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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