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Apple Pulls Top Free iOS App 'Weed Firm' from App Store

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,473
11,861



Released earlier this month, somewhat controversial iOS game Weed Firm quickly shot to the top of the App Store charts for free apps. The game centers around a marijuana business, with the player controlling a character responsible for all aspects of growing and selling the product.

Just as quickly as it arrived, Weed Firm has disappeared from the App Store, with the game's developer, Manitoba Games, tweeting yesterday that the game would be removed for "a few days" to address "a few maintenance things". That may not be the complete story, however, as Manitoba Games has posted a note on its website (via CNET) noting that the removal "was entirely Apple's decision, not ours."

The developers don't share Apple's specific justification for the removal, claiming that while there may have been some objections to "illegal activities", Apple must have simply thought it was "too good" of a game as there are a number of other marijuana-themed apps available in the App Store.
We guess the problem was that the game was just too good and got to number one in All Categories, since there are certainly a great number of weed based apps still available, as well as games promoting other so-called 'illegal activities' such as shooting people, crashing cars and throwing birds at buildings.
The Android version of Weed Firm has also been removed from Google Play, but the developer claims that this is due to an issue with the app's publisher rather than any action by Google.

Manitoba Games promises that Weed Firm will be returning to the App Store shortly, although some of the more controversial aspects of the game may need to be toned down given the close scrutiny Apple will undoubtedly give the app upon review.

Apple maintains a list of review guidelines for App Store submissions, but as part of the document's broader themes the company also reserves the right to reject "any content or behavior that we believe is over the line". As such, Weed Firm may simply have been a borderline case that garnered a second look as it soared to the top of the charts. But exactly what changes Apple will require of the app's developers in order for Weed Firm to return remain to be seen.

Article Link: Apple Pulls Top Free iOS App 'Weed Firm' from App Store
 

uknowimright

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2011
810
412
shouldn't games where you kill people also be considered games with "illegal activities"?
 

bberger

macrumors newbie
Mar 10, 2008
5
0
Good for them.

Good for who? Apple's action feels excessively paternalistic to me. I understand and respect Apple's right to curate its App Store. That is part of what distinguishes the Apple ecosystem. But there is a point at which curation tilts into the domain of nanny state, and this cuts a bit close to the later, IMHO.
 

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
As the devs said, there are all kinds of games with illegal activities: shooting, killing, running criminal organizations, etc.

Even strategy/conquest games allow you to violate international law by attacking and subjugating foreign countries.

So...whatever Apple.
 

dysamoria

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2011
965
528
Those political bafoons sure did a very solid job of poisoning the USA against this useful plant and mostly harmless drug. I still think pot heads are idiots, but it's become clear to me that weed is far less a legit problem in the USA than alcohol and other street drugs. Then we have the fully legal and worshipped drugs: caffeine, cigarettes, & sugar/sweeteners. The worst of all of them being the legal use of psych drugs, constantly pushed by "healthcare" industry people to everyone and anyone for everything and anything.

Once capitalists stop fearing marijuana, they will have an explosion of opportunism over the plant. The only down side for corporate America is it cannot be patented. That's why Dow chemical was so heavily involved in political lobbying to make it illegal in the first place.

If it cannot be exploited by capitalism, it's unwanted here. Know what other things cannot be exploited by capitalism? Democracy, representation, reedom, justice, truth, independent thought, and all the other stuff Americans think our nation stands for.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,082
Montreal, Canada
From the App Store Review Guidelines:

2.18 Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes, will be rejected

I haven't played to game so I don't know if excessive consumption of marijuana is encouraged, but otherwise they should be fine if the game is just about the growing/selling portion of it and you don't see people actually smoking tons of weed. After all, maybe customers will not actually smoke it and just buy it for the sake of it. ;)

A more effective solution however might be to add a couple medical signs to suggest it's a medical marijuana business, which wouldn't make it an "illegal substance" in that context.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,863
19,035
Doesn't sound like we really know why it was actually pulled. The whole thing about it being about weed or relating to illegal activities is certainly a decent conjecture in a way, but that's all it is so far, just a theory.
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,943
23,990
Well, it was a bit too skeuomorphic, but it's nothing a simple design tweak can't fix:



How did this get approved in the first place.

Perhaps by not breaking any laws or Apple policies; there are other drug-oriented apps on the store, apparently.
 
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