Apple Upsets Developers By Removing Games That Haven’t Been Updated In A While

Apple has begun cracking down on apps and games on its App Store that have not been updated in a handful of years, angering numerous game developers who have stopped supporting their products on the platform.

Several game developers started sharing messages that Apple had sent out last week, indicating that their games needed to be updated within the next 30 days or risk being taken off the App Store entirely. Robert Kabwe of Protopop Games, creator of the free puzzle game Motivoto, shared the email he received from Apple while airing his frustrations about having to update a finished title and risk breaking it.

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“This is not cool,” Kabwe tweeted. “Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. This is an unfair barrier to indie devs.”

Emilia Lazer-Walker, another game designer with games on the App Store, echoed the sentiment over receiving the same notice from Apple. “Games can exist as completed objects! These free projects aren’t suitable for updates or a live service model, they’re finished artworks from years ago.”

The problem that arises with updates is that they can incur big-time investments from developers, especially if a game was built on older versions of popular game engines or build environments that Apple provides through its IDE, Xcode. This means that developers must take away time from current projects or, worse yet, risk breaking existing games to comply with a rule that many think Apple is applying arbitrarily.

It should be noted that Apple isn’t the only company doing this. Google applies an identical rule to apps on the Play Store, removing any app that hasn’t been updated in over two years. This is despite older apps still being downloaded and functioning as intended, making it even more challenging for smaller developers to maintain a presence on either store.

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