Apple has asked developers of iOS games not to show pictures of weapons on promotional images that appear on the Apple App Store.
Game developers at OrangePixel noticed there was a problem a few weeks ago when they wanted to update their game Gunslugs 2, however, the App Store rejected it “because that screenshot (and possibly all screenshots from my game) show violence against a human being.
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Orangepixel’s Pascal Bestebroer told Kotaku the following in an email:
“[The] rejection was only about one screenshot,” Bestebroer said. “The update was rejected by Apple because of the ‘violence’ in the screenshots (side note: Gunslugs 2 uses pixel-art, tiny 12×12 main characters and 1×1 blood pixels).”
Eventually the game did manage to promote itself on the App Store with its screens intact, but there was a lengthy delay.
Pocket Gamer looked into the issue and found more cases of Apple cracking down on app developers promoting their content with gun imagery. Game developer Splash Damage has gone to extreme lengths of pixelating the guns out of the App Store screenshots for its game Tempo. Another developer, Team Chaos, changed the icon of its Rooster Teeth vs. Zombies game, by removing a Zapper-like gun from the main character’s hand.
It should be noted that Apple isn’t actually cracking down on violence in the games, but just the promotional images to attract users – the images that appear when people browse the App Store.
Last December Apple rejected the iOS version of a popular game Papers, Please because it had a brief nudity scene. Apple eventually reversed its decision.