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Apple is currently in the midst of tidying up its App Store. The company hopes to make the store easier to navigate yet in doing so, it’s managed to alienate and upset a ton of indie developers by removing their games from the store.
As discovered by VGC, Apple’s developer support site reads, “We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.” The criteria seems to disproportionately affect independent developers who have received app removal notices from Apple in recent days.
On the look out for a new indie gem? Take a look at the trailer for Cat Cafe Manager below.
Protopop Games, whose titles include Wilderless and Nimian Legends: BrightRidge, are just one of the developers expressing their dismay. In response to the move from Apple, they tweeted, “I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they're removing my free game Motivoto because it's more than two years old. It's part of their App improvement system.”
The dev went on to say, “This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. This is an unfair barrier to indie devs.” It’s not yet known exactly what qualifies an app as being “outdated” according to Apple’s definition. Motivoto has not been updated in two years but remains perfectly playable on today’s iOS system.
I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they're removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old.— Protopop Games (@protopop) April 23, 2022
It's part of their App improvement system.
This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale.
This is an unfair barrier to indie devs. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
Attached to Protopop Games’ tweet was the letter sent to them by Apple. It read, “This app has not been updated in a significant amount of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days. No action is required for the app to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app.”
It looks like Apple is taking a ruthless approach and we could continue to see indie games affected. Bad move Apple.
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