Apple upsets developers by removing games that haven’t been updated in a while

Apple has started cracking down on apps and games on its App Store that haven’t been updated for a few years, angering many game developers who have stopped supporting their products on the platform. .

Several game developers have started sharing messages that Apple sent last week stating that their games need to be updated within the next 30 days or risk being removed from the App Store entirely. Robert Kabwe of Protopop Games, creator of the free-to-play puzzle game Motivoto, shared the email he received from Apple while expressing his frustration at having to update a finished title and risk breaking it.

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“It’s not cool” Kabwe tweeted. “Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. It’s an unfair barrier for independent developers.”

Emilia Lazer-Walker, another game designer with games on the App Store, echoes the sentiment upon receipt of the same notice from Apple. “Games can exist as finished objects! These free projects are not suitable for updates or a live service model, they are finished works of art from years ago.”

The problem with updates is that they can require significant developer investment, especially if a game was built on older versions of popular game engines or build environments provided by Apple through its IDE, Xcode. That means developers have to take time off ongoing projects or, worse, risk breaking existing games to comply with a rule that many believe Apple is arbitrarily enforcing.

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

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