Palestinian indie creator Rasheed Abueideh reveals suggestion that Liyla and The Shadows of War should be described as ‘News or Reference’ app

Apple forces dev to remove title from App Store’s Games category over war theme

The creator of a mobile title dealing with the repercussions of war in Gaza has been told by Apple that it cannot be classified as a ‘game’ because it carries a political message.

Palestine-based Rasheed Abueideh tweeted a message he had received from Apple concerning Liyla and The Shadows of War, an atmospheric platformer based on true events that tells the story of a young girl living in war-torn Gaza.

“Please revise the app category for your app and remove it from Games, since we found that your app is not appropriate in the Games category,” it reads.

“It would be more appropriate to categorise your app in News or Reference for example.”

“Unfortunately Apple rejected the game as a game, they say it’s not game, it has a political statement,” Abueideh added.

“After 12 days of review, what we should tell him about his game. mmmm OK we will just pretend its not a game. This is brilliant.”

Abueideh’s tweet has since gathered a number of supporters on social media, but it appears that Apple is yet to respond to the backlash.

Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope encountered a similar problem in bringing his politically-charged simulation title to iOS, with Apple’s resistance in that case focusing on the portrayal of nude human bodies in the game.

Apple has also worked to remove titles in response to potentially sensitive political news. It deleted a number of games featuring the Confederate flag – sometimes considered as a racist symbol of slavery – last year in the wake of the Charleston church shooting tragedy.

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