[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]
BRISTOL, UK. JANUARY 7th, 2013: A game that explores the Syrian
civil war, Endgame:Syria, has been rejected by Apple due to App
Store guidelines forbidding games that "solely target a
specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any
other real entity".
Apple say that Endgame:Syria, which explores a real news event
and aims to show users the range of factions and
peoples involved in the situation, fell into this
category and so was rejected.
The game's designer, Tomas Rawlings takes up the story, "This
decision is a shame really as it makes it hard to talk about the
real world. We had hoped that Apple would be more nuanced in
how they applied this rule but we got a bit worried when it had
been in submission for around two weeks without a decision - we
then figured that because of the controversy of using the gaming
medium to cover an ongoing war meant passing the game had become an
issue for them."
Tomas continued, "Our aim is to use games as a format to bring
news to a new audience and submission processes such as this do
make it a lot harder for us. I get that Apple want to make
sure really offensive titles don't pass into their store,
but ours is far from that. In fact the response to the game
has been broadly positive with much of the mainstream media picking
up on the story.
We'll be making changes to the game and re-submitting it but it
does mean we'll have to strip some of the meaning and context from
it to pass Apple's submission process and that is not ideal."
The game runs as a HTML5 application so can be played on an
iPhone or iPad without needing to be installed. The game can
be found at
A longer description of the design and sources for the game can
be found here:
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 before this one on a variety of topics
such as the US elections and solar power. The existing GameTheNews
games can be found on Wired and the Huffington Post aswell as
here on their site.