App Store censorship issues during design process

Nibbie
Posts: 3
Joined: 2009.05
Post: #1
Has anyone here had their game rejected for violent and/or mature content?

I'm just beginning to design the graphics and scenes for a horror-themed game and I'm wondering how bloody and sexy I can make it without Apple rejecting it during the submissions process? Has anyone else had this problem while developing their game, know of any guidelines or tips, or have any suggestions as to what might be considered going too far based on first-hand knowledge?

I'm inclined to keep it PG-13, but even some PG-13 movies can be pretty bloody and sexy.

I know nudity and hardcore graphic gore is out of the question. But would a scantily clad female drenched in blood be too much? Or a room with the walls splashed in blood?

I see a lot of cartoonish blood and gore with all the zombie apps, but I'm creating ray-traced graphics and more realistic CGI animation.

On another note, does anyone know when version 3 of the iphone and iTunes with parental controls will be implemented? I hear it's coming and will open the doors to submitting mature apps without worrying about censorship, but have not come across a date or time frame.

Thanks in advance for any advice. - Dustin
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Member
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Joined: 2004.07
Post: #2
Officially, Apple doesn't reject an app on the basis of violent/suggestive content, with the exception of outright porn. That said, the approval process is a bit of a black hole, and sometimes some very strange things get approved/rejected:

- The game "Hill Billy" was initially rejected, and according to the author was on the basis of graphic violence. He allegedly turned the blood in his game from red to green and it was then approved. I say allegedly because there are TONS of games with red blood. The rejection is likely because he misrepresented the amount of violence in the game rating.

- The game "Zombieville USA" features red blood and visible gore, and was not only approved, it was featured for awhile on the App Store front page. (However, it features a cartoon graphic style.)

- The "Baby Shaker" app was approved, and after public outcry was pulled from the App Store.

- There are MANY apps that pruriently feature sexy, scantily clad women.

Dustin Wrote:But would a scantily clad female drenched in blood be too much? Or a room with the walls splashed in blood?

No, 7 Days Apocalypse and Attack From The Dead are two games that do exactly this. I recall both of these also being featured apps.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Member
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Post: #3
<joke>They only allow apps that they want to try</joke> Rasp
I'm sure that there are some behind the scenes rules that they will make exeptions for.
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Nibbie
Posts: 3
Joined: 2009.05
Post: #4
JustinFic Wrote:Officially, Apple doesn't reject an app on the basis of violent/suggestive content, with the exception of outright porn. That said, the approval process is a bit of a black hole, and sometimes some very strange things get approved/rejected:

- The game "Hill Billy" was initially rejected, and according to the author was on the basis of graphic violence. He allegedly turned the blood in his game from red to green and it was then approved. I say allegedly because there are TONS of games with red blood. The rejection is likely because he misrepresented the amount of violence in the game rating.

- The game "Zombieville USA" features red blood and visible gore, and was not only approved, it was featured for awhile on the App Store front page. (However, it features a cartoon graphic style.)

- The "Baby Shaker" app was approved, and after public outcry was pulled from the App Store.

- There are MANY apps that pruriently feature sexy, scantily clad women.



No, 7 Days Apocalypse and Attack From The Dead are two games that do exactly this. I recall both of these also being featured apps.

Thanks for the info, some of those games I've tried, and some I'll have to look up. If anyone else knows of any games or apps that push the limits in this direction please let me know, as I'd like to check them out for comparison.

I'm really looking forward to what Apple's going to let in once the new 3.0 OS is up and running.
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Moderator
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Post: #5
One rule to keep in mind is... is your app pushing the boundaries in a way that makes sense, or are you doing it just because you can? Are you making a positive point with the controversial elements, or simply trying to drum up business for yourself?
This isn't just an Apple taste thing, but a quality app idea... if you are truly doing it for the right reasons, you can probably figure that Apple will allow the app eventually.

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
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Nibbie
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Joined: 2009.05
Post: #6
funkboy Wrote:One rule to keep in mind is... is your app pushing the boundaries in a way that makes sense, or are you doing it just because you can? Are you making a positive point with the controversial elements, or simply trying to drum up business for yourself?
This isn't just an Apple taste thing, but a quality app idea... if you are truly doing it for the right reasons, you can probably figure that Apple will allow the app eventually.

Thanks for the tip. I think I'm just going to go for an R-Rated version and see what happens. By the time I'm finished hopefully 3.0 should be up and running, with the 17+ parental control features. I guess if they reject it I can always resubmit a PG-13 version.

I'm not planning to put anything in you wouldn't see in an R-Rated horror movie. So maybe I'll be one of the first to test out Apple's threshold when it comes to +17 rated games.

In the meantime I'll still be following all this closely and see what others are doing.

I can already imagine the booby-shaking wet T-shirt apps that are likely to become the next iFart or iGirl if Apple lets them in, but I don't see what I'm doing as exploitative as that, I just want to try and create an edgier game.

Thanks,
Dustin
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