Apple is turning away developers who try to submit apps with guns in their screenshots or icons. But this isn’t a case of Apple introducing new rules to the App Store, so much as it is one of the company finally enforcing rules that have been there all along.
Last month, developer OrangePixel had an update to its latest game, Gunslugs 2, rejected by Apple because one of the game’s screenshots showed “violence against a human being.” The game itself had been released a few weeks prior, and Apple didn’t flag it for a review, as Touch Arcade notes, nor did the screenshots change between app versions.
That seemed to be a one-off, but now, the issue is becoming more widespread, with PocketGamer reporting that several devs are having their apps rejected if their App Store screenshots show violence or guns.
In some cases, such as the case of the just released game Tempo, devs are responding by blurring out images of guns from their screenshots.
What’s going on? As Instaper and Overcast developer Marco Arment points out, this is just Apple finally enforcing a very old rule.
The App Store has parental controls and requires all apps to bear age-appropriate content ratings. While violence, etc. has always been permitted in apps, Apple has always required that all app metadata — title, description, icon, and screenshots — be kid-proof with the lowest rating.
Given the amount of bloodshed you can find in many App Store games, this might seem hypocritical, but I personally thinks it makes sense that the App Store itself be as G-rated as possible… even if that means that developers have to self-censor their screenshots a little. What do you think?