Apple accused the innocent tower defense title, Childhood’s End, of being a “recruiting tool for paedophiles”. Bizarre but true – the developer was shocked.
There’s been a few bizarre anecdotes that you can stumble across on the internet concerning indie game developers and their experience with Apple. This might just top the lot though. After getting through the normal submission process for an iOS title on the App Store, everything seemed fine for Pixel Brain and their game Childhood’s End. It was when a bug fix was submitted for Apple’s approval a week after the game’s release when this story begins.
Apple got back to Pixel Brain showing a concern for one of the game’s in-game bears which they said resembled Pedobear – the popular internet meme. The problem? Well, read below and you’ll find out:
“The Apple rep at first asked me what the purpose of the app was supposed to be,” Pixel Brain’s Steve Hunn told Eurogamer. “I didn’t understand what she was getting at and said something along the lines of ‘its just a game – I want people to play it’.
“She then asked me if I knew about Pedobear. I quickly put two and two together but played dumb so I could hear her explain it to me. She basically said that the combination of the game’s (original) icon and one of the submitted screenshots plus the title ‘Childhood’s End‘ made someone along the review chain think that the game might be a recruiting tool for paedophiles(!).”
Yes you read that correctly. Apple thought that an innocent game might be being used to recruit pedophiles – because that’s a full-time job, don’t you know? Joking aside, this is a pretty serious accusation that Pixel Brain were quick to react to. They changed the app’s icon, tweaked its description and sent it back for approval. Luckily, Apple accepted the changes and Childhood’s End is now back on the App Store.
Will Apple have any more surprises for indie game developers in the future? We don’t doubt it – these anecdotes just get more and more odd.
You can find out more information about Childhood’s End over on the developer’s official website.