Apple has been putting some efforts recently to show that the company cares about games, especially when it comes to the Mac. However, the company’s real-life practices show that a lot of things still need to change if it really wants to make the Mac a gaming platform. On Monday, Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser revealed that the popular “Untitled Goose Game” has been rejected twice by Apple’s Mac App Store.
Apple says no to Untitled Goose Game on the Mac App Store
Untitled Goose Game is a cross-platform game released in 2019 that quickly became quite popular, as it consists of the player controlling a goose to manipulate objects and complete a list of challenges. The game was widely acclaimed by the critics and won multiple awards, such as D.I.C.E. Game of the Year.
For those unfamiliar, Untitled Goose Game is distributed by Panic – which is known for creating many good macOS apps such as Transmit and Prompt. For this reason, the developers thought it was reasonable to make the game available on the Mac App Store for macOS users. But things didn’t turn out as they had expected.
As Sasser said in a post on Mastodon (via Daring Fireball), Apple has rejected the macOS version of Untitled Goose Game twice. First, the game was rejected because the reviewer thought the player couldn’t skip the credits. “We explained that you could skip the credits by holding space,” the developer mentioned.
The macOS game has been submitted for review a second time. But again, Apple rejected the game claiming “something else.” Sasser said that at that time the developers “just gave up and never bothered to resubmit.” The game was released for Mac users through Steam and Epic Games Store.
A history of neglecting game developers
Stories about Apple being negligent towards game developers are nothing new. A former App Store games editor revealed in an article for The Guardian that the App Store Review team “couldn’t handle the volume of games coming through.”
According to the former employee, developers are “treated with contempt” and most of them have a “horror story involving their game being repeatedly rejected for an arbitrary reason.” The report also mentions that Apple does very little to encourage developers to bring great games to the App Store.
Unsurprisingly, Apple has been under investigation by many regulators around the world for anti-competitive and arbitrary practices when it comes to the App Store.
I’ve already written here about how Apple needs to change its mindset if it really wants to compete in the gaming segment. The App Store’s strict guidelines make developers of popular games disinterested in bringing them to Apple’s platforms. A clear example of this is when Apple required every tvOS game to be compatible with Siri Remote, which is impractical for some games.
A few weeks ago, Apple held a small event to promote games on its devices. However, this isn’t enough to show that it really cares about games. And it’s a shame to see that such great devices as iPhones, iPads, Macs, and even Apple TVs don’t have good games because of Apple’s arbitrary decisions.