"Gratuitious Violence" Blocks Postal from Google Play, Google Responds

[UPDATE] Google issues statement.

155 Comments
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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Google representative provided GameSpot the following statement regarding Postal's Google Play rejection:

"While we don't comment on specific apps, we can confirm that our policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers. That's why we remove apps from Google Play that violate those policies."

The original story is below.

A port of 1997's ultra-violent game Postal has been rejected by Google for publishing on Google Play due to its "gratuitous violence."

That's according to the game's developer, Running With Scissors, which explained the matter in its forums. The forums are currently unavailable, but Eurogamer was able to capture the following message.

"It seems we have hit a bit of a snag," the developer said. "Unfortunately, it appears Postal has been rejected from Google Play due to it containing 'gratuitous violence.'"

The developer said blocking Postal but not other violent games such as Grand Theft Auto represents something of a double standard.

Although it appears Postal won't come to Google Play, the biggest Android app store, Running With Scissors said it plans to release the game through other means, including Amazon and the Humble Store.

According to Google's own publishing rules, while apps that feature "graphic violence" are permissible, apps that include "gratuitous real violence" are not. We've followed up with Google, asking for additional insight into why Postal was rejected. We'll update this post with anything we might hear back.

"We immediately filed an appeal and that was rejected," Running With Scissors told Eurogamer about the initial decision. "Trying now to speak to an actual human being with a f***ing brain."

In other Postal news, Running With Scissors plans to launch a new expansion for Postal 2--Paradise Lost--on April 17.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for ZeldaGeek56
ZeldaGeek56

Google doesn't screen based on how much money something makes, how about some of you actually take a look at the garbage in the Play Store.

Avatar image for Hurvl
Hurvl

Google's motto: Don't be evil (and also, don't explain your actions).

Avatar image for deathblow3
deathblow3

haha i guess google is saying your game sucks denied

Avatar image for valensbellator
ValensBellator

The U.S. is fine with violence but uncomfortable with sex/nudity... Most of the western world outside of the U.S. has less issue with sex/nudity but is uncomfortable with violence.

Estonia is fine with both.

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

Is there really no other games on Google Play with violence similar to or worse than Postal? Maybe this is more due to Postal being somewhat well known?

Avatar image for tarantani
TarAnTani

@hystavito: Oh there is... the grand mother of unholy over violent senseless and crazy games... CARMAGEDDON!

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@tarantani@hystavito: Maybe Carmageddon god saved since you are no forced to kill anyone and just finish the race (although not sure who would want to do that...)

Avatar image for straightcur
straightcur

We remove all games that violate our rules (unless it makes us a boat load of money like GTA).

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If I've learned anything from American movies and television programs, it's that its ok to show excessive violence, as long as there's little to no blood. God help you if you show a t!tty though, apparently nudity is more offensive than violence.

Avatar image for mrdinghat
MrDinghat

Well now, we can't have those cartoony looking pixels being killed now, can we? Seriously, the game doesn't even look remotely realistic by today's standards.

Avatar image for rufusamatrix
Rufusamatrix

You don't pee on dead bodies in GTA. Running With Scissors should focus on making a better game than making immature tweets about their sorry excuse for a game Postal.

Avatar image for capfuzz
capfuzz

Haha, come on people this is Google we are talking about. They're so evil they are pretty much on the path to become Umbrella Corp.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Remeber when their slogan was, "don't be evil"? I knew it wouldn't take long for them to become hypocrites, and sure enough a year later they made a deal with China's government to restrict Google searches in that region.

Avatar image for raptormissle
raptormissle

@canuckbiker: You're pretty ignorant. Google left China because they didn't want the Chinese Government filtering their searches. Microsoft, however, didn't have a problem with this and got on their knees - not that any normal person in China would ever use that pathetic Microsoft search engine in the first place.

Avatar image for raptormissle
raptormissle

@canuckbiker: You're pretty ignorant. Google left China because they didn't want the Chinese Government filtering their searches. Microsoft, however, didn't have a problem with this and got on their knees - not that any normal person in China would ever use that pathetic Microsoft search engine in the first place.

Avatar image for raptormissle
raptormissle

double post

Avatar image for metallinatus
Metallinatus

@canuckbiker: You just fail to realize that it was either "restrict Google searches in that region" or "NO Google searches in that region"....

Come on.... it's godamn China we're talking about.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Better to stay away, then get in bed and catch an std. China needs to change, it's painfully obvious to even it's government.

Avatar image for metallinatus
Metallinatus

@canuckbiker: As long as they don't start implementing backdoors up and down for the government it's ok....

Restrict search is still better than no search.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I do see your point. Being a black out country hasn't done North Korea's citizens any favours. It is still a slippery slope that helped corrupt Google as a company.

Avatar image for bith_the_black
bith_the_black

Ok I really disliked Postal, but I have new respect for Running With Scissors. That Jumanji tweet was awesome and they are completely right about the double standard.

Avatar image for ZeldaGeek56
ZeldaGeek56

If all of you seriously think Grand Theft Auto and the original Postal have the same nature of violence, that's super scary. That being said, no platform should reject any app/game on the basis of content.

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

Considering they sell the GTA games, this makes NO sense.

Avatar image for gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@DrunkenPunk800: I think a better comparison to Postal than GTA would be Carmageddon. Now THAT is a game that rewards killing civilians. (And yes, it is on Google Play.)

Avatar image for airfoemoe
airfoemoe

Crap, this is the kind of BS that iOS idiots are going to have a field day with. Android is a better OS but hopefully one of the higher ups see this and we can forget about this.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Google's response is vague nonsense.

Avatar image for canuckbiker
canuckbiker

That sounds like the results of a bing search.

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

"our policies are designed to provide a great experience for users and developers."
Oh yes, we can totally see that.

Avatar image for Redblaze27
Redblaze27

See, mobile isn't taking the the game industry seriously, so why should we take it seriously?

Avatar image for 5hd6j
5hd6j

@Redblaze27: Seriousness would involve recognizing that if something is banned, people WILL go out of their way to get it elsewhere.

Google needs to accept human nature.

Avatar image for captainwonton
captainwonton

The reason should be, postal sucks, gta doesnt

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

@captainwonton: WRONG. Both are good... Postal 3 does suck, though.

Avatar image for hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@captainwonton: ur mum

Avatar image for 5hd6j
5hd6j

Google logic: violence is bad, but allowing games where people are r.aped, and in the case of GTA, EATEN, are ok.

Congrats on driving away customers, Google. If there's a company that needs to be taken down a peg, its this one.
Avatar image for Damnation_6
Damnation_6

@5hd6j: Nobody got eaten in GTA 3 and nobody got r.aped either... tho i agree the standards are a bit double.

Avatar image for hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@5hd6j: uhhh when in GTA III have I ever eaten anyone? I haven't played it in some years but never remember doing that.

Avatar image for patsfan365
patsfan365

@hoyholyhoy@5hd6j: trevor in GTA 5, which isn't on mobile so the point kind of makes no sense, but there it is.

Avatar image for youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

Why are GTA's polygonal hookers' lives valued so much more than real ones? Think about it, which have you heard more sympathy for?

Avatar image for justbefahad
JustBeFahad

What's the point of banning a game as old as this?

Avatar image for razrabbit
Razrabbit

@justbefahad: To generate clicks, controversy and ad revenue

Avatar image for youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

@justbefahad: I bet people under 20 don't even know what "going postal" means.

Avatar image for DrunkenPunk800
DrunkenPunk800

@youre_a_sheep@justbefahad: No kidding. Moron kids don't know how to use a VCR, cassette player, or rotary phone. Pathetic.

Avatar image for Noved23
Noved23

What's the difference between graphic and gratuitous? Killing random npc's isn't gratuitous in gta? -_-

Avatar image for WozzaBoi
WozzaBoi

@Noved23: True - Postal gives an explicit reason as to why they are doing what they are doing (the character is mentally unstable, and believes that the govt evicted them from their home)


As many people have said, GTA's violence towards civilians is all player-choice.

That makes it much more "gratuitious"

Avatar image for catsimboy
catsimboy

I'd say stuff like "Elsa's Eye Surgery" made by Chinese companies who don't respect copyright law is more graphic than than an isometric shooter that's almost 20 years old.