Welcome to the Censored Gaming Recap! In these articles, we take a look back at all of the latest happenings in the world of censorship and then round them up in a special weekly feature.
This time sees Apple deciding to ban a certain political-themed game on the App Store, news on the German release of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, as well as this month’s changes to Germany’s controversial List of Media Harmful To Young People.
To begin with ,the title refused a release on iOS platforms, it was an indie game called Hide It Hillary, which, as its name suggests, pokes fun at US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s recent email scandal.
The game involves you quickly sorting documents, as they land on your desk, into a Laptop, Server, Shredder, or Closet.
Google did not have any issues with the title and it was quickly approved on the Android store. Apple, on the other hand, rejected the title, citing “Your app includes content that could be considered defamatory or mean-spirited. Specifically, the app refers to a controversial current event.”
Apple’s review guidelines though, tell a somewhat different story. They explicitly state that exceptions are generally made for content that is politically satirical.
Additionally, scores of titles have seemingly been excused that instead revolve around the other presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Many of these are violent in nature, such as “Trump Punch“. On the contrary, Hide It Hillary has absolutely zero violence and it never depicts the political figure in person and, instead, just by name.
The developer of the game took to the Kotaku In Action subreddit to discuss the issue, where it was revealed that the project had been in development for 6 months, to only get turned away at the last hurdle.
Perhaps due to the attention it received, Apple has now all of a sudden changed their mind on the decision, and it’s finally available for purchase on iOS devices.
There has been no official statement on why the original decision was overruled but this situation is very similar to what some other games have experienced on Apple platforms, such as May’s Liyla and The Shadows of War. Here, another political game was at first rejected but then later approved, following the news spreading around the internet.
Also, Apple is notoriously strict when it comes to its review process, with sometimes even extremely influential titles not seeing a release, despite being heavily appealed. This is the reason why The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth was not released on iOS, with Apple disapproving of “violence towards children”.
That’s all for global events this week, with the rest of the Recap being about a few important things going on in Germany.
The first being that the German List of Media Harmful to Young People has been updated yet again, as it is every month and this time has seen a range of games finally removed from the prohibitory list.
To just clarify for those out of the loop, this German list of media is a chronicle of games, movies and more, deemed harmful to children. Media placed on this list then face severe advertising and selling restrictions, and is a big reason why games are censored so much over in the German region.
No new games have been added this month and four titles have been removed, although, they are all extremely old and have been automatically deleted due to their age. Nonetheless, this could have some very positive effects, if perhaps a company decides to rerelease the classic games or something.
The removed titles are 1987’s The Ninja Warriors, 1988’s Narc, 1990’s ESWAT and 1990’s Beverly Hills Cop.
And to finish up with some unfortunate news about the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
As earlier mentioned, games placed on the list of harmful media face severe restrictions in the German market. This is the reason why 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was censored prior to being released in Germany, as the uncut release was also placed on The List.
The censorship involved altering a violent scene during one part of the story, as well as completely removing the arcade mode.
Modern Warfare Remastered is an updated release of the 2007 game and, due to rules on what is perceived to be “identical content”, the new version should be treated as if it was the previous release.
Due to this trouble, Activision has revealed that the remastered game will be censored in Germany the same as the original was.
The title has currently gone missing on the German Steam store, which prompted some confusion over what was going on with the German release. However, with the publisher now giving a statement, it is expected to be available for purchase again sometime soon.
Modern Warfare Remastered is packaged with special edition versions of the latest main entry in the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Infinite Warfare is scheduled to be released worldwide November 4th and, at this stage, it’s not possible to purchase Modern Warfare Remastered separately.