Apple may have begun to enforce its policies more rigorously against unused and dysfunctional apps. , the company promised it would do its best to remove applications that stopped working, failed to keep up with the latest guidelines, or became outdated. After not attracting much attention in recent years, those policies came back into the public consciousness this week. Spotted in a series of tweets by a handful of indie developers shared an email notification from Apple asking them to update their games.
I feel sick. Apple just emailed me saying they are removing my free game Motivoto because it is over 2 years old.
It is part of their app improvement system.
This isn’t cool. 2000 console games are still for sale.
This is an unfair barrier for indie developers. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
— Protopop games (@protopop) Apr 23, 2022
“This app has not been updated in a significant amount of time and is expected to be pulled from sale within 30 days,” the company said in the email. “You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days.”
Apple notes that developers can continue to monetize microtransactions even if their app or game is removed from the store. In addition, their programs continue to work for those who have downloaded them to their devices. Some people who shared screenshots of the post on Twitter expressed concern that the policy disproportionately affects smaller developers.
“This is an unfair barrier for indie developers,” developer Robert Kabwe. from Protopop Games † “Sitting here on a Friday night, working myself to the bone after my day job, doing my best to make a living from my indie games, trying to keep up with Apple, Google, Unity, Xcode, macOS changes that happen so fast that makes my head spin while performing worse on older devices.”
On a Committed to its App Store Improvements initiative, the company states the policy is designed “to make it easier for customers to find great apps that meet their needs.” It also notes that it wants to ensure that any software you find on the platform is “functional and up-to-date”.
Obviously, there is no simple answer to the situation. From an iOS user’s perspective, it’s not great if you buy a new Apple device and find apps that aren’t optimized to take advantage of the hardware. I ran into that situation when I bought and downloaded my Tactical Spy RPG from Clay † When I first played the game, I was disappointed to find that the studio hadn’t updated the game to support the iPad Air’s 2,360 by 1,640 resolution. Clay has the iOS version of Invisible, Inc. since 2016. That hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the game, but I wish I could play it without black bars in the mailbox of the interface.
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