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Japanese Game Developers Express Criticism Over Apple’s App Store Policies and Approval Policies

Japanese Game Developers Express Criticism Over Apple’s App Store Policies and Approval Policies

Japanese game developers have joined in the clamor over Apple’s App Store business model and its app submission policies. Complaints over the issues continue to increase in the wake of the ongoing legal dispute between the Cupertino phone maker and Fortnite publisher Epic Games.

Bloomberg reports that some Japanese developers are feeling froggy due to the Apple/Epic Games dispute, feeling the time is right to become more vocal about their own concerns. Those concerns include Apple’s 30% commission rate as well as its inconsistent enforcement of App Store policies.

While Epic, publisher of the hit title Fortnite, focuses on the 30% revenue cut app stores typically take, Japanese game studios have broader concerns. They have long been unhappy with what they see as Apple’s inconsistent enforcement of its own App Store guidelines, unpredictable content decisions and lapses in communication, according to more than a dozen people involved in the matter.

Developers in Japan claim Google’s Play Store offers a smoother approval process and provides better communication than the App Store. Some developers say they even take advantage of a third-party service called iOS Reject Rescue, which aids them in navigating through Apple’s approval process if their app is rejected.

“Apple’s app review is often ambiguous, subjective and irrational,” said Makoto Shoji, founder of PrimeTheory, the company that provides the rejection service. “While Apple will never admit it, I think there are times when they simply forget an item’s in the review queue or they intentionally keep it untouched as a sanction to a developer giving them the wrong attitude,” Shoji told Bloomberg.

Japanese developers also say that Apple is inconsistent in what it interprets as appropriate content, saying it often changes policies without giving advance notice. Developers take issue in particular over how Apple interprets what is or isn’t overly sexualized or pornographic material. Several game studios say they had characters in swimsuits approved for inclusion in games, only to have them later rejected as Apple claimed they were “sexualized.”

Apple continues to face increasing scrutiny over its App Game-related actions in the wake of their very public clash with Epic Games. Japan’s antitrust regulator said it will step up attention to the iPhone maker’s practices in the wake of the high-stakes legal battle.

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