Apple asks devs to blur out guns and nudity on App Store screenshots and promotional footage

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Apple is determined to make the App Store a safe playground for children and has begun enforcing its own long-standing which requires that app icons, screenshots and video previews adhere to the 4+ age rating, PocketGamer reports.

Developers who do not censor the App Store marketing material will see their apps rejected from the store. A few devs corroborated Apple’s intent to make the App Store family-friendly and inoffensive.

Some of the developers who voiced their concern include Tempo developer Splash Damage, creators of Gang Nations and Bullet Rush and many others.

Splash Damage, for instance, has actually pixelated the guns to hide them in the screenshots while Team Chaos had to update the icon for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens because the hero was holding an NES Zapper gun, as show below.

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Another example: OrangePixel saw its GunSlugs II update rejected due to a screenshot showing pixelated people getting killed. According to OrangePixel, Apple doesn’t want screens that “show violence against a human being.”

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It’s worth noting that Apple has not changed its guidelines pertaining to third-party iOS development. In fact, the company has long required its registered developers to use screenshots, app icons and footage appropriate for children.

The Violence and Objectionable Content sections of the App Store Review Guidelines clearly state that apps “portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected.”

Besides, section 3.6 states in plain English that apps with “app icons, screenshots and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected.”

Why would the company ignore its own rule and then suddenly change its mind, and whether the move signals Disney-fication of the App Store, is anyone’s guess.

As mentioned above, a GunSlugs II update got rejected due to the screenshot below which depicts “violence against a human being” even though the game is based on pixel art and cartoonish characters.

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Developers commented in a blog post they told Apple they can either “upload black screenshots or simply opt out of updating the games and tell my iOS fans that they can grab the updated content on Android, ChromeOS, Steam, Ouya or FireTV.”

Eventually, they updated the screenshots to adhere to the rules and Apple soon after approved the GunSlugs II update. In its defense, the Cupertino firm part told The Loop it’s being more liberal lately regarding the App Store meta data.

“I spoke with Apple about this today and they told me the company is being more liberal lately with what it allows in the App Store for images and screenshots,” wrote Jim Dalrymple. “I don’t know the specifics of individual games, but overall, Apple is being more lenient of late.”

Earlier this week, Apple has doubled the per-app size limit to 4GB, introduced a new App Store section to highlight paid games without In-App Purchases and started experimenting with new app discovery models by letting users install iPhone and iPad apps through Pinterest for iOS.

Are you happy about this newest purification of the App Store or has Apple gone too far this time in making the store a family-friendly app repository, do you think?

Source: PocketGamer