Apple bans App Store screens with characters holding guns, but not melee weapons

Enforcing 4+ age ranking on metadata

Apple bans App Store screens with characters holding guns, but not melee weapons

As originally reported on Pocket Gamer, it appears that the App Store censors have been at it again.

Over the past weeks, reports have been filtering through from developers that games and updates for games have been being rejected because of icons, screenshots and imagery which show in-game characters holding guns.

Guns shown on their own (i.e. without being held by human characters) can be displayed. 

Given the popularity of firearms in games, this new restriction is clearly proving to be an issue for many developers.

A high profile casualty has been Warchest's shooter Tempo, which in terms of the screens it shows on the Ap Store, has been forced to pixelate weapons within the character administration screen.

Guns in Tempo are blurred on App Store screens

Warchest hasn't commented on the situation, but one developer who has is Team Chaos, which has replaced a NES Zapper gun with a baseball bat in its icon for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens.

Elektron Games also had to change the icon for its game Tap Army.

The real irony of the situation, however, is it appears that while imagery with characters holding guns is being removed, imagery with characters holding melee weapons like swords and bats, is still allowed.

There's some speculation that the reason behind the move is that Apple is enforcing a rule that metadata like screens and videos is available to all users on the App Store, all such content must meet the 4+ age rating.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.