Apple Rejects War Game For Depicting Germans, Russians As Enemies

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Apple Rejects War Game For Depicting Germans, Russians As Enemies

Tank Battle: East Front 1941 screen

Apple gave the thumbs-down to the iOS game Tank Battle: East Front 1942 for depicting Germany and the Soviet Union as enemies.

You may have read about a spot of unpleasantness between the Germans and the Soviets back in the early 1940s. Bit of a territorial dispute, some political wrangling, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 million dead soldiers over the course of about four years. Famously nasty stuff.

But not quite famous enough to pass muster at the App Store, apparently. Tank Battle: East Front 1942, a war game for iOS devices, was recently rejected by Apple for portraying the two sides as enemies.

"We found that your app contains content or features that include people from a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines," Apple said in an email sent to developer Hunted Cow Studios. "Specifically, we noticed that your app depicts (a) real entity as the enemies."

The email recommended that Hunted Cow review the app and "revise the concept to avoid targeting any groups or individuals" in order to bring it into compliance. Hunted Cow boss Andrew Mulholland says he's not really sure how to go about that. "I guess we could use 'opposition' [instead of 'enemy']," he told Pocket Tactics.

Oddly enough, its predecessor, Tank Battle: East Front 1941 was approved for the App Store just last month with no reported problems. Hunted Cow is appealing the decision.

Source: Pocket Tactics

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Soviets, not "Russians". For all you know it could be Uzbek tankers or whatever.

Somehow I feel the timing of the release has everything to do with it, with the whole Russia making politics with NATO tense again.

This is ridiculous.
However, are they refering to them directly as Russians and Germans? Maybe changing it to Soviets and Wehrmacht (e.g. "Ostheer" and Soviets in CoH2) would do the trick. Looks like they are already using the Soviet Union's flag and an adapted version of the WW2 Reichskriegsflagge (without the swastika) as opposed to today's German and Russian flags (in which case their rejection based on their terms would at least make a bit sense).
The rejection sounds still stupid though. Forgetting about history and all...

The current times don't change well known history. It takes longer to make a game like this than the current problems have been in the news. This is very likely a innocent game.

Except the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are both defunct nations from as far as my not quite as up to date knowledge of history tells me. Russia is not the Soviet Union and Germany is definitely not the country it was during the 1940s, as that state was ground into dust. Good to know that the un-educated fools at Apple do not understand history in any way, shape, or form.

What next? Should any war game that uses the United States be banned because the US is a real entity?

This is just utterly ridiculous.

Because fuck history. Revisionism in action.

We can't actually make stuff about real events. That would harm the feels of some people! Despite the fact we have the exact same stuff already on our store...

Truth is we just didn't like your hair, that's why we thumbed it down.

I'm guessing that there are absolutely no other games on the appstore that involve WWII or the US military then? Naturally Apple would rather not have controversial material such as anything to do with actual history, that way they can have more fart noise apps.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fart!!/id375248440?mt=8

Stay classy Apple.

I knew it. Apple is turning into a powerhungry megalomniac tyrant. They're already sanitizing history, erasing the parts that do not suit their views. And then they wait until all have forgotten and no one will see it coming when the iTanks roll into Poland.

Apple...is run by retards.

If Steve 'I'm going to die even faster by embracing fake medicine' Jobs wasn't bad enough...
Now there's THESE morons!

As a company that is so aggressive to the point of bullying when petty legal matters come up I'm surprised that they don't condone depicting real world entities bashing the ever-living shit out of each other.

Well as long as they don't invent the iChronosphere...

Blaine Houle:

What next? Should any war game that uses the United States be banned because the US is a real entity?

This is just utterly ridiculous.

Try and make a game where you're fighting against the US. That should go over well.

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize we had all the feels for a tank battle game with no such friction set against almost any other war game with nationalities involved ever. I thought we all agreed that Nazis and Soviets were considered acceptable targets. That is, past figures of ugly wartime who buy-and-large are dead, gone, and buried (except for like fleeting war criminals who are old as hell and still punished when found). Gimme some perspective here, Apple.

Despite the game being an obvious Panzer General clone, this is utterly ridicolous. Also, this isn't about race, since there are only white soldiers. We're talking about nazis and soviet communists here.

They don't really expect these two parties to get along just fine in a WWII themed game, do they? Unless the game is called "Let's raid Poland", but this would be nuked for more understandable reasons...

Chaosritter:
Despite the game being an obvious Panzer General clone, this is utterly ridicolous. Also, this isn't about race, since there are only white soldiers. We're talking about nazis and soviet communists here.

The Uzbek tankers from my example were "only white soldiers"?

image

Nazis also had a lot of non-white soldiers.

Yeah, including Uzbeks, too.

image

Sonichu:
The Uzbek tankers from my example were "only white soldiers"?

I sorta doubt the programmers put that much effort into detailing every unit to a degree where you can tell the pigmentation of the skin.

Yes, there have been some divisions of locals on either side, but those aren't really relevant in this particular case. Or do you imply it has only been disapproved because of ethnical diversity within the armies? Because that'd be absolutely politically incorrect.

So in the end, all that remains is nazis versus communists.

But yeah, make it "predominantly white soldiers" when it makes you feel better.

Chaosritter:

Sonichu:
The Uzbek tankers from my example were "only white soldiers"?

I sorta doubt the programmers put that much effort into detailing every unit to a degree where you can tell the pigmentation of the skin.

Yes, there have been some divisions of locals on either side, but those aren't really relevant in this particular case. Or do you imply it has only been disapproved because of ethnical diversity within the armies? Because that'd be absolutely politically incorrect.

So in the end, all that remains is nazis versus communists.

But yeah, make it "predominantly white soldiers" when it makes you feel better.

Norman Davies, a relatively eminent historian has pointed out that statistically the bulk of soldiers fighting for the Soviets from 1942 onwards were from the Central Asian regions of the USSR. There was nothing predominantly white about the Red Army. You're correct in saying that this isn't likely the excuse they used, though.

OT: Apple are clowns.

"a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines,"

Oh come the fuck on, even if the game wasn't based on historical events these guidelines would still be load of shite.

rofltehcat:
This is ridiculous.
However, are they refering to them directly as Russians and Germans? Maybe changing it to Soviets and Wehrmacht (e.g. "Ostheer" and Soviets in CoH2) would do the trick. Looks like they are already using the Soviet Union's flag and an adapted version of the WW2 Reichskriegsflagge (without the swastika) as opposed to today's German and Russian flags (in which case their rejection based on their terms would at least make a bit sense).
The rejection sounds still stupid though. Forgetting about history and all...

Going by the criteria given by Apple, those changes wouldn't change anything. The Soviet Union and the Wehrmact were "real entities" in the exact same capacity as Germany and Russia were and are.

Maybe if it was the Schnoviets and the Behrmact it'd make it through.

The whole thing is just dumb, and there's no reason for it.

This is clearly a new or incompetent reviewer being too literal in interpreting the rules. I'd say resubmit and get someone else. The bad press here and elsewhere will probably get it approved anyway. There's no shortage of WWII games on the app store, this is simply a mistake, not a grand conspiracy. :P

....WHAT.

Well that's bloody stupid isn't it? Hopefully this was the result of a machine or computer program designed to root out dreaded racism and NOT some real living human being, otherwise I'll really lose my temper.

Sonichu:

Chaosritter:
Despite the game being an obvious Panzer General clone, this is utterly ridicolous. Also, this isn't about race, since there are only white soldiers. We're talking about nazis and soviet communists here.

The Uzbek tankers from my example were "only white soldiers"?

image

Nazis also had a lot of non-white soldiers.

Yeah, including Uzbeks, too.

image

Reminds me of that Korean fellow who was conscripted by the Japanese, captured by the Soviets, conscripted into the Red Army then captured and conscripted by the Germans before surrendering to the US in Normandy - unfortunately I can't quite remember his name, but that's one hell of a story to tell right there!

Andy Chalk:

"We found that your app contains content or features that include people from a specific race, culture, government, corporation, or other real entity as the enemies in the context of the game, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines,"

This is not acceptable. they must change the review guidelines.

thisbymaster:
The current times don't change well known history. It takes longer to make a game like this than the current problems have been in the news. This is very likely a innocent game.

its actually a sequel to a game that came out before the Crimea business started, so its definitely an innocent game.

Kargathia:
Try and make a game where you're fighting against the US. That should go over well.

I wish somone would have the balls and funding to create a decent game where you are an SS soldier fighting americans. Best we have now is strategy games where you can choose USA as one of your opponents.

Tanis:
Apple...is run by retards.

If Steve 'I'm going to die even faster by embracing fake medicine' Jobs wasn't bad enough...
Now there's THESE morons!

At least Jobs was market savvy enough to avoid PR incidents like this one, say what you want, he was one heck of a salesman.

Dragonlayer:
Reminds me of that Korean fellow who was conscripted by the Japanese, captured by the Soviets, conscripted into the Red Army then captured and conscripted by the Germans before surrendering to the US in Normandy - unfortunately I can't quite remember his name, but that's one hell of a story to tell right there!

Yeah I heard that one, there's some photo of him out there on the internet dressed in German uniform as he's being questioned by Allied soldiers. Apparently he migrated to the US after WW2 and died in Illinois in 1992.

FalloutJack:
I thought we all agreed that Nazis and Soviets were considered acceptable targets. That is, past figures of ugly wartime who buy-and-large are dead, gone, and buried (except for like fleeting war criminals who are old as hell and still punished when found). Gimme some perspective here, Apple.

What do you think this is? the 90's? No, the only acceptable enemies now for war video games are middle eastern countries because they aren't real people and killing them by the hundreds won't offend anyone.

They could go with 'Communists' and 'Fascists', like in Dark Void. Or they could just make up nonsense names for everything, including the planet. If Studio Ghibli had done that with their latest film it wouldn't have received any criticism at all, and Mayazaki could have just waited a year or two before going "Ha! I was Japan all along!".

Although I imagine that'd be more of a Peter Molyneux thing.

I thought Nazis and communists were okay to demonize? No?
Guess you'll juts have to throw in zombies instead. Or vikings.
What's next on the list of guilt-free enemies?

fucking absurd

is stuff like this that makes me think lowly of mobile gaming, well one of the many

well they could always rename the factions to "the western empire of bad guys" and "the eastern republic of equally awful"

Fifteen million? Wut? I think you need to revise that estimate, it was upwards of twenty five million dead.

This is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard today. Who besides the war criminals are being offended here?

The most ridiculous thing about this article is why the *fuck* do developers keep trying to make iOS games like this one, despite knowing that Apple doesn't like anything remotely thought-provoking.

Actually, no, don't answer that question. I'm pretty sure the logic is that iOS is popular, so SURELY people will buy more. Which is arguably even dumber logic because you'd either hit it big or get slapped in the wrist by big nanny Apple for daring to be philosophical.

Really, have they learned *nothing* from Apple's past behavior?

Tien Shen:

Dragonlayer:
Reminds me of that Korean fellow who was conscripted by the Japanese, captured by the Soviets, conscripted into the Red Army then captured and conscripted by the Germans before surrendering to the US in Normandy - unfortunately I can't quite remember his name, but that's one hell of a story to tell right there!

Yeah I heard that one, there's some photo of him out there on the internet dressed in German uniform as he's being questioned by Allied soldiers. Apparently he migrated to the US after WW2 and died in Illinois in 1992.

There is a Korean movie about his story I'm pretty sure it takes a lot of artistic freedoms with the truth but it is still a damn good movie (if you don't mind subtitles.)
It is called "My Way"

bfure1:

Tien Shen:

Dragonlayer:
Reminds me of that Korean fellow who was conscripted by the Japanese, captured by the Soviets, conscripted into the Red Army then captured and conscripted by the Germans before surrendering to the US in Normandy - unfortunately I can't quite remember his name, but that's one hell of a story to tell right there!

Yeah I heard that one, there's some photo of him out there on the internet dressed in German uniform as he's being questioned by Allied soldiers. Apparently he migrated to the US after WW2 and died in Illinois in 1992.

There is a Korean movie about his story I'm pretty sure it takes a lot of artistic freedoms with the truth but it is still a damn good movie (if you don't mind subtitles.)
It is called "My Way"

And it's really, really, really cheesy movie. I should say 'literally laughable' but actually I was annoyed too much and only laughed in some scenes. Posted about it at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1606384/board/nest/226539209

It's crazy, but I just found out it was written, produced and directed by the same guy who wrote Tae Guk Gi, and this one was a pretty good war flick. It's like this Russian guy who did 9th Company, which was sure very unrealistic and cheesy but passable and okay in some aspects, and then did Stalingrad which was completely cartoonish silly shit CGI fest looking like cut scenes for a badly written video game, like 300 set in 20th century but 300 at least had an excuse of being based on a comic.

Tien Shen:

Dragonlayer:
Reminds me of that Korean fellow who was conscripted by the Japanese, captured by the Soviets, conscripted into the Red Army then captured and conscripted by the Germans before surrendering to the US in Normandy - unfortunately I can't quite remember his name, but that's one hell of a story to tell right there!

Yeah I heard that one, there's some photo of him out there on the internet dressed in German uniform as he's being questioned by Allied soldiers. Apparently he migrated to the US after WW2 and died in Illinois in 1992.

I remember first reading about him in one of Antony Beevor's history books - sidenote: go read anything by Antony Beevor, he's excellent - like some of the Asiatic peoples who found themselves in German uniform, the US troops thought the dude was a Japanese auxiliary serving with the Heer. Speaking of which, gotta love how quickly that whole "Master Race" thang fell apart in the face of horrific casualties and Cossacks, Mongols, Indians and the like ended up in feldgrau.

Wait, THIS is Apple's policy?:
"Specifically, we noticed that your app depicts (a) real entity as the enemies."

Unless I'm reading that wrong, it seems like you can't ever depict any 'real entity' as an enemy. So not only does that mean any WW2 game would be unacceptable, so would any game based around any actual historical war. Not only that, even a fictional game which uses a real world nation as the enemy (ie. Homefront, the majority of Call of Duty games, Command and Conquer: Generals, etc.) would be considered unacceptable.

Technically, this would mean the first Half-Life is unacceptable, since you're fighting US Marines, any of the Total War games, Civilization, Crusader Kings, the list goes on and on. This may be the dumbest policy I've ever heard.

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