Apple has removed satirical iPad game Sweatshop HD from the App Store, as Endgame: Syria debuts on the platform under a new name.
Simon Park, head of games at Sweatshop HD developer Littleloud, told Pocket Gamer that Apple removed Sweatshop from the App Store last month as it was “uncomfortable” selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop, despite Littleloud assuring them that the game was intended as a “sympathetic examination of the pressures that all participants in the sweatshop system endure”. Endgame: Syria, a game based on the civil war in that country, was initially rejected from the App Store on the grounds that its enemies “solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation”. The game was only approved after developer Auroch Digital removed all references to Syria in the game, renaming it Endgame: Eurasia.
The move has created anger among App Store users. “They can’t say it, so I will: this game is about Syria,” says “Encyclopath”. “This game, as originally submitted, was a… explorative game about the current Syrian Civil War…. It was rejected. This was weeks, or even months ago. Only now that it has been sanitized and stripped of all cultural relevance, and the developers forced to describe it as ‘fictional,’ it has been deemed by Apple as appropriate for its customers to see. “