Game developer claims removal reflects desire to avoid controversy over the rights of app designers
San Jose, California Jan 24, 2023 (Issuewire.com) - A game developer has raised a red flag after a tongue-in-cheek game was banned from one of the world's largest software marketplaces before anyone had the opportunity to play it.
The decision to ban Hurd's Turds, set to launch Tuesday, was based on a short-sided decision by Apple that goes too far in protecting a public personality by squashing the developers' rights, said Hurd's Turd creator and Turdy Games founder Andres Kello.
"While Hurd's Turds may have drawn comparisons to recently well-publicized court proceedings detailing strife in the marriage of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, the game did not bear Amber Heard's name and did not use her likeness in any way. Further, Heard claimed the story attributed to the game was false. So who are they protecting with this ban?" Kello said.
He believed the ban was an effort to appease potential concerns from Heard, but as the game was still in development, it went too far.
"In its written decision to reject it, Apple claimed the game was considered objectionable due to poop-related imagery and sounds. For me, this did not pass muster when a quick search on the App Store confirms there are over 80 games about poop and similar objectionable content that have been approved and published on the App Store ranging from iFart to PewDiePie's Poopdie game," Kello said. "Something was clearly not adding up. I knew there had to be another reason Apple was banning this game, so I called them."
"On the phone, Apple brought up how this game could offend a 'specific individual,' and then everything finally clicked and made sense," Kello said. "Apple did not care that the individual they were protecting was not named, used, or related to the game in question. They were overreaching to a suspicious degree and acting outside their precedence to protect a celebrity's possible sensibilities."
"Worst yet, Amber Heard wasn't even involved in the decision. Apple simply assumed that she would be offended, which matches the fact that they already misconstrued the game as being about her, which it is not. It's simply a light-hearted game that reflects topical news as subject matter."
Kello also noted that the Google Play Store did not have any qualms with making the game available in their marketplace, proving that the issue is not with the game.
"Google has been much more reasonable and understanding," Kello said. They actually listened to us and gave us credit for our careful approach to ensure the game bears no resemblance to any individual."
This careful approach by the developer and sensible approach to the game by Google has allowed it to be approved and even featured on the Play Store for Android users to enjoy.
With the Apple ban, people are effectively censored from 100 percent fair game content, depriving millions of iPhone owners of enjoying the harmless app, Kello said.
But in response to the Apple decision, Turdy Games added a new development that will give those interested in playing the game another option outside the Apple App Store.
"The game will soon be available to play online at hurdsturds.com," Kello said. "Regardless, we believe Apple's censorship to protect an individual before the individual even had a chance to complain and based solely on wrong assumptions has been chilling to all new iOS developers who may now fear they will face a similar situation with Apple before launch."
"We believe this ban sets a new dangerous precedent as it reflects arbitrary reasoning and inconsistent opinions by the company. After all, what indie developer will take the risk of working hard and spending months or years developing a new App for the App Store if Apple is going to use its generic guidelines and bend them as far as necessary to justify arbitrary censorship to protect a public figure?"
"By protecting Amber Heard to such an absurd degree, Apple has shown it practices favoritism in high-profile matters. But, similar to the Streisand effect, Apple's attempt to censor Hurd's Turds is making the game more popular, a new phenomenon we call the 'Amber Effect.' As the game launches this week, we hope Apple users join us in letting the largest company in the world know this unjustified censorship that limits their users' freedom of choice does not go unnoticed."
For more information about the game, visit hurdsturds.com.
Andres Kello, Founder Turdy Games
Source :Turdy Games
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