Apple rejects iOS game about war in Syria

Mobile game from Auroch Digital denied distribution through App Store; remains available for Android and Web.

Apple has rejected an iOS game aimed at raising awareness about the war in Syria, according to a statement provided to Polygon. Developer Auroch Digital explained that its Endgame: Syria was rejected because it violated a guideline that prohibits games that "solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity."

Endgame: Syria remains available on Android devices and through its official website. An Apple representative was not immediately available to comment.

"This decision is a shame really as it makes it hard to talk about the real world," developer Tomas Rawlings said in a statement. "Our aim is to use games as a format to bring news to a new audience and submission processes such as this do make it a lot harder for us. I get that Apple want to make sure really offensive titles don't pass into their store, but ours is far from that."

Rawlings further explained that the development team will make changes to the game and re-submit it to Apple. This is not without cost, though, as he claimed doing so means some of the game's context and meaning will be lost.

Developed in two weeks, Endgame: Syria has gamers exploring options available to the Syrian rebels. Each choice a user makes has consequences, and players can replay events to see how different choices would affect the final outcome.

Rawlings and his development squad have been creating games based on current events at GameTheNews.Net since October 2012. The team has produced titles based on such events like child labor in Uzbekistan, rhinoceros poaching in Africa, and the United States' presidential debates.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
93 comments
AlexFili
AlexFili

I think they should be put in a separate store section, unless they are highly political/offensive.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Wow, for once Apple is taking a more humane concern for the world...NOT that that excuses their business model in general!

eddiesp
eddiesp

Good work by Apple. This is purely a $$$ for the developer. idiots. People will read the news if they want news. 

k_daker
k_daker

This is sad. I am syrian and i feel terrible that this game is out. This doesnt 'raise awareness' about the issue, it celebrates the genocide going on over there regardless of what side its on....

imm_84
imm_84

Can't wait for the iPhone 6 :D

zneno
zneno

Interesting - I would have given it a try if it came out.

91210user
91210user

"solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity."

 

The keyword is 'TARGET!' Apple are concealing people how to make their games. It's not a process of approval, it's a process to have developers give up there rights to make games for Apple! It takes away that power that developers have in order to make a game. I give praise to other companies that allowed this game to be sold.

 

Keep in mind, there a game for the iPhone called 'Capture Joseph Kony'

LordChen2
LordChen2

And that's American democracy for you.

Dareitus
Dareitus

PEOPLE, please play the game before you post all your hate on it. It's not a Pro-Rebel piece or a Pro-Government piece, it simply states some facts and possible outcomes. Sure its partially biased, but so is every news outlet and media agency on the planet, take the good with the bad just like you would on CNN or FOXNews.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

American overzealous censoreship as a cry for attention from a group of hero wannabes.

mattcake
mattcake

Propaganda is bad, mmmkay. Who is to say who is the good and bad guys? Let's just keep politics out of gaming.

 

Now I'm off to kill some nazis in *generic war game* yay!

 

And yes that is a joke for the hard of f***ing brains.

UsernameofDoom
UsernameofDoom

Here's a hint for oblivious people and those who don't catch up with the news :

-Syrian goverment : Bad guys

-Syrian rebels that are fighting against oppression and for their freedom : Good guys

You are welcom.

xMoonDevilx
xMoonDevilx

And Apple did exactly what they should do with this game, or any like it. You want to make a game raising social awareness about your specific perspective or plight, then make a news app and allow users to post comments to articles....and let the games begin. The real world Game of Thrones...is no game actually, and the 2 things you tend to get into arguments discussing in real life- politics and religion, have no place place in video games in a blatant, directed forced perspective to an issue where it is easily not of a shared viewpoint. Gamers already can be obnoxious, racist, gender bashing, culture bashing playing typical games...why one thinks this game is not going to fall to that due to the 'awareness' intent, much less due to focus of a real life turmoil, and Apple not wanting to contribute to any part of it being stupid....is truly the real idiot.

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Sadly, this is about the only way people in our modern society pay attention to these conflicts. If the game can enlighten people in any way, I say great. It's better that people actually become educated about something than to get just another glorious war game, like CoD. I don't know how extensive the game goes into the conflict, but I respect the developers attempt to do something to educate people further. It's a shame Apple has no interest in something like this. Just another reason for me not to become an i-user.

deathstream
deathstream

Propaganda pretending to be a game wasn't allowed.  Boo-fucking-hoo.

torres_unix
torres_unix

I understand that Apple's eye-candy ridden products are sexy, attractive, and command certain privileges in the mobile market, but Apple as a company sucks, while I don't condone making a game of issues that use current events as part of the plot (imaging an Aurora shooting game), I do believe that Apple's two-faced approach when approving apps will eventually lead to their downfall.  iPhone is just a hype.

nate1222
nate1222

Not to troll, but...

 

Apple charges customers twice as much as their competitors for devices manufactured in the same Foxconn sweatshops. But they are of such a higher...moral authoritaaaay! Gotta love corporate bullshit, folks.

nate1222
nate1222

All the more reason to go Android: not being told how to wipe your ass.

 

While I feel that a game reflecting a very real tragic issue is in poor taste, I also feel it is the DEVELOPER'S right to make what they want. I won't buy it. But it's THEIR right to make it.

toddx77
toddx77

Another reason Android is better.

istuffedsunny
istuffedsunny

This is why Apple will always be niche. Once the hype dies down Android will be king, just like Windows and for the same reasons.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

How about they start rejecting games that aren't good and ones that are full on copy right violations but no one is able to defend their own property.

Polaris-dono
Polaris-dono

Because war crimes "solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity." and totally not humanity as a whole.

 

Hey Apple, what's it like up there, above all of us petty humans?

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Offensive or not. This "game" (if you can call it that), looks like a waste of time. If I want to hear more about Syria, I'll turn on CNN or Fox News, they love reporting this crap with their own spin.

deth420
deth420

one of the many reasons apple is a joke!

 

they will fail....

PuebloZuni
PuebloZuni

I actually don't mind this, it is an offensive game if you are Syrian yourself and you discovered the current struggle you are going through is being made into a game by  some Americans to enjoy. I wouldn't find it amusing personally, just like I wouldn't like it somebody made a small App game about Native American wars and struggles.