Apple Blocks Sweatshop-Themed Satirical Games From App Store

Corporate gatekeepers say that provocative ideas don’t belong in video games. Via Pocket Gamer:

According to UK developer Littleloud, Sweatshop HD is an iPad game that “challenged people to think about the origin of the clothes we buy”. But it has now been removed from Apple’s online marketplace because the App Store was “uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop”.

Sweatshop HD wasn’t the first game of its kind to be removed by Apple, either. In Phone Story, Molleindustria depicted the seedy side of smartphone manufacturing, including sweatshop suicides and the harvesting of rare minerals in the war-torn Congo. Apple pulled the game, saying it violated App Store clause 16.1 – “Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.”

There’s also In a Permanent Save State, an artistic game centered on “the spiritual afterlife” of overworked electronics labourers who had committed suicide. It was removed by Apple for violating that all-important clause 16.1.

16 Comments on "Apple Blocks Sweatshop-Themed Satirical Games From App Store"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Mar 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm |

    B-b-b-but apple are the good guys… they fight the evil tyranny of the microsoft monopoly… they’re cool and indie… [Error]
    [Corporate narrative incompatible with reality]

    • LucidDreamR | Mar 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm |

      Best laugh of the day thus far!

    • St. Jobs does not approve.

    • BuzzCoastin | Mar 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

      Tim Wu wrote a great book about media monopolies (Who Controls the Internet?)
      his takes was that
      Jobs went over to the Dark Side with the closed Mac
      which was a radical departure from Woz’s very open Apples I&II
      and Apple has remained a model of old style media control

      Jobs was a great marketer
      he got lots of people to buy into the idea of freedom
      while enslaving them at the same time
      Hmmmmmm, where’ve I seen that before?

  2. dani pettas | Mar 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |

    It seems like it’s a free speech issue. Hopefully this will be on Android or somewhere else.

    • Matt Staggs | Mar 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

      Is it a free speech issue if it is a corporation? Seems like Apple can choose what to sell out of their own storefront. Not that I’m defending those guys, mind you.

    • It’s more thank likely on the jail broken stores out there like Cydia.

    • I can see how it would be a conflict of interest to allow those games to be sold from their store. It’s a like the Catholic church selling the Gnostic bible.

    • dani pettas | Mar 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm |

      About half of tablet sales are iPads (, not sure about smartphones. It’s kind of like Apple controls a media platform, even though it’s their own thing. Apple doesn’t support Flash (which is used a lot for games). It’s not a stretch to say that the developers can’t reach Apple users.

  3. For some reason whenever I hear a story about apple further tightening the screws on its control I always flash back to the Futurama episode where they spoofed the “eye phone”.

  4. InfvoCuernos | Mar 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

    I’m not sure what’s worse- Apple for trying to cover up their sweatshop ties, or the developers that made a game out of sweatshops. Just so we’re all on the same page, sweatshops = slavery.

  5. DeepCough | Mar 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

    If you already own an iPad, would a game called “Sweatshop HD” actually make you care about its
    origin of manufacture?

  6. Answer: Their guilt is showing at the moment.

Comments are closed.