Apple Censoring Images of Guns on App Store
If any prospective iOS developers are out there reading this, take heed of this advice: advertising your game just got a little bit trickier.
PocketGamer reports that Apple has recently started to reject images of firearms or in-game kills used in both screenshots and app icons for games on the App Store. The report cites many different developers that have come forward to tell their own versions of Apple's unexpected censorship.
Splash Damage, developer of the recently-released Apple Editor's Choice game Tempo, was forced to pixelate every gun in every in-game screenshot seen in its App Store preview shots (as can be seen above), turning what's supposed to be a screenshot of a serious shooter game into somewhat of a joke. The Team Chaos-developed Rooster Teeth vs Zombiens had to change their game icon despite the character clearing holding an orange NES Zapper-looking "gun" and not a realistic one.
We'd understand if this was happening to every game on the store, but it seems these rules are not being applied across the board. PocketGamer indicates games like Gang Nations feature cartoonish characters wielding machine guns, as do images for Bullet Rush show sniper riles in plain view. Whether this is a case of favoritism or the censors not getting to these examples remains to be seen.
This is a worrying turn of events for iOS developers, as censorship like this may put a strain on a developer trying to get the word out about its game. Look at that Tempo screenshot above again and the effects should become clear: with a gun that guy's a soldier, with that censoring he looks like he's been caught in a... um, vulnerable position. We'll have updates on this story as they become available.