Apple is rejecting games and updates that show images of guns or violence in their screenshots or app icons.
Numerous developers have told Pocket Gamer that they have had to resubmit images or change their game icons to remove weaponry.
Splash Damage has had to pixelate images of guns for its recently released shooter Tempo. You can see a comparison of two screenshots below, showing key art from the studio's official website with the lead character clearly holding a weapon, while it has been removed in the App Store image. A further screenshot has had the gun pixelated.
Team Chaos meanwhile has said it changed the icon for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens to show the main character holding a bat, rather than a NES Zapper gun.
Another studio, Elektron Games, had an update rejected for action strategy title Tap Army after it showed characters pointing guns at each other. Despite being a key part of the gameplay, the developer removed all guns from the screenshots.
According to an Elektron spokesperson, Apple has told them that as screenshots are visible to everyone on the App Store, content must meet the 4+ age rating requirement, even if a title is classified for a higher age group.
Apple’s own guidelines already state that “apps with app icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected”. Until now however, this rule has not been enforced.
Despite this, some games still appear to have slipped through the net, such as Playdemic's newly released Gang Nations, which features images of characters holding pistols on its store page.