Apple Rejects PopCap’s Edgy Unpleasant Horse from App Store
Apple flexed its morality muscle on the newly established 4th & Battery’s Unpleasant Horse, rejecting the game‘s bid for the iTunes App Store.
A division of PopCap (the guys who make Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled), 4th & Battery is an edgier label for the company, where it can do weird and slightly evil stuff — like Unpleasant Horse, a 2D sidescrolling platformer in which players control an evil winged horse that bounces on things like clouds and other animals, sending them to a gruesome death as they plummet into the ground, which is covered in meat grinders.
The game carries some cartoony graphics, so it couldn’t have been all bad, and it’s not like this is the first bloody game in the App Store — hell, the other day I was guiding butcher knives with my thumbs, which represented telekinesis, into the skulls of zombies.
Actually, it’s not that big of a deal, and it’s likely that Unpleasant Horse will make it through to the App Store when submitted with a higher rating. Like the ESRB, Apple defines games by their content — and all that bone-chewing flying horse action would probably garner Apple’s 17+ maturity rating (or at least a fairly high one). Sounds like 4th & Battery submitted the game with a lower rating and Apple deemed it didn’t fit the criteria. So cries of censorship popping up all over the Internet are a touch unfounded.
But if the game gets bounced again, then we can all yell about Apple’s censorship and how it doesn’t even make public all the criteria that it might use to ban things from its App Store.
You can get an example of Apple’s ratings submission system at Technologizer here for some context.