21st MARCH 2012, BRISTOL, UK: The controversial newsgame, Endgame Syria, has been updated on Android and released on two new platforms - PC and Facebook and yet the developer is still struggling to release the original title on Apple's App Store. After three rejections, the developer has had to not only remove references to specific groups that are part of the conflict, but any reference aswell as the actual word 'Syria' too. As a result the much-amended version of Endgame:Syria has made it past Apple's approval process as ' Endgame:Eurasia'.
The developer, GameTheNews.net's Tomas Rawlings remarked, "We've come to the end of three rejections and one appeal and the only way we've been able to get Endgame:Syria out on iOS was to remove all references to the real world and sadly that changes it from a 'newsgame' into just a 'game'. We've released this game version so at least players with Apple devices can get a feel for what we originally intended for the platform. We are of course disappointed to not be able to release the game and hope that our experience informs a wider debate about how games have matured into a form that would benefit from a reappraisal by some." To help players using the App Store version to get a feel for the original title they have released a conversion guide to explain how the wording of the game has had to be changed. By contrast to Apple's policy decision, Endgame:Syria has been recognized by Games For Change, one of the world's leading exponents of how games can be used beyond play.
The updated version on Android and for PC adds newer events from the ongoing war including Scud Missile strikes and the enhanced fears over WMDs. The game is free and available now from Google Play. It is also free on PC and can be downloaded from GameJolt with Desura, Indievania, GamersGate and IndieCity to follow soon.
Endgame:Syria was launched last year and allows players to explore the difficulties and options open to the rebel side in the ongoing Syrian civil war. The game attracted wide coverage for not only its subject matter but how it was received by gaming and non-gaming audiences. The developer, GameTheNews.net, has released a wide variety of games that explore current affairs from a commentary on the horse-meat scandal to covering science and technology news.
Notes for Editors:
Press Image Pack - within the image pack are examples of the before and after of the iOS version of the game, a guide for players that explains how the wording has changed and screenshots of the updated version of the game: http://bit.ly/endgam3updated
GameTheNews is a project by digital development and consultancy studio Auroch Digital, based in Bristol, UK. The project is exploring how games can be developed from news stories. They have produced a number of games on a variety of topics from the US elections to the horse-meat scandal. The existing GameTheNews games can be found on Wired and the Huffington Post aswell as here on their site.