Pocket Gamer reports that Apple has been rejecting a number of apps that include screenshots depicting violence or guns. Developers have been forced to modify their screenshots, blurring or removing any violent content in order to receive app approval.
MacRumors notes that while Apple has long required developers to ensure App Store materials are appropriate for children, recent weeks have seen it more aggressively enforcing its stance.
App Store Review Guidelines clearly spell out Apple’s kid-friendly requirements:
“The App Store has parental controls and requires all apps to bear age-appropriate content ratings. While violence, etc. has always been permitted in apps, Apple has always required that all app metadata — title, description, icon, and screenshots — be kid-proof with the lowest rating. […] It’s right there in the rules: 3.6 Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected”
Despite the recent crackdown on violent imagery, Apple insisted in comments to The Loop that it is being more liberal recently in allowing which images and screenshots are allowed to be shown in the App Store.
“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. I don’t know the specifics of individual games, but overall, Apple is being more lenient of late.”
Apple appears to be quite inconsistent in its enforcement of the violent imagery ban, as Pocket Gamer notes:
For the recently released Tempo – which has been chosen as Editor’s Choice by Apple – developer Splash Damage has actually pixelated the guns to hide them in the screenshots.
Like most rules on the App Store, it’s not one that has been universally applied. The new Clash of Clans-alike Gang Nations features cartoony characters holding AK-47s in its screenshots. And the updated Bullet Rush shows sniper rifles.
Reports of this tighter enforcement come on the heels of Apple’s once more allowing marijuana-centric apps to appear in the App Store, and Apple’s increasing of the maximum app size in the App Store from 2GB to 4GB.
It should be noted that any apps that are rejected due to sensitive content such as screenshots can be resubmitted after making the necessary changes.