In a rare (but not unusual) move, Apple recently removed the game Afghanistan 11 from the App Store. As the name suggests, the game simulates the historic war between the United States and Afghanistan, which resumed after the twin tower bombing in 2001.
In an email sent Slitherine Software, a company that develops and distributes the multiplatform game, Apple said the app was removed for presenting "people from a specific government or other real entity as enemies", as disclosed by the company's director, Iain McNeil.
Apple have just pulled Afghanistan '11 from the app store because its got "people from a specific government or other real entity as the enemies". You mean like every realistic game ever?. and people wonder why we don't do iOS anymore. https://t.co/LQjUPUkWWr pic.twitter.com/m4YRNQXyoL
– Iain McNeil (@Iain_Slitherine) December 5, 2018
Apple has just removed Afghanistan ?11 from the app store because it has ?people from a specific government or other real entity as the enemies?. You mean like every game is realistic and people wonder why we don't do more (games for) iOS.
Apple's decision came more than a year after the game was launched in its app store, leaving many people confused including Slitherine's global public relations manager, Paulo Paglianti.
Historical rigor is a fundamental key to the DNA of Slitherine and Matrix Games. We never portray an ?enemy? by its origin (ethnicity). Our (games) are based on history and we always try to portray realistic historical situations.
Paglianti stressed that the decision is even more incongruous in stating that the intention of the game is not to destroy enemy forces, but to strategically support Afghan civilians to ?build a strong and independent Afghanistan government, and leave the country with all its army?.
Apple has not yet officially commented on removing the game from its app store; however, it is possible to establish a relationship between this fact and the statement by Ma CEO Tim Cook on content that promotes "hate, segregation or violence does not take place on the company's platforms".
However, this is not the first time that Ma has removed games from the App Store based on historical events: in 2015, the Ultimate General: Gettysburg game was also removed from the store for using Confederate flags as a means of identification; some time later, however, the decision was reversed.