A game in which animals target poachers is rejected by the Apple app store, but accepted by Google.
The shooting of an iconic and popular lion named Cecil near Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park near the end of July spawned global outrage.
And it has now also spawned a mobile game.
“Cecil’s Revenge,” a game that puts a group of cartoonish-looking characters in a Jeep and has animals turning guns on humans in the style of the classic arcade game “Asteroids,” has not quite gotten the response the developers may have looked for from distributors.
While the game was approved by Google for inclusion in the Google Play store, but Apple rejected the game for their App Store.
The Hollywood Reporter says the game’s developers were told the game violates an Apple store guideline that does not allow targeting of specific groups. “Enemies of a game cannot solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity,” the guidelines allegedly state.
Hollywood Reporter additionally states the creators of “Cecil’s Revenge” were encouraged to revise the game to keep it from targeting groups or individuals. An additional report from TMZ alleges Apple did not want to support games based on “real events.”
The game was reportedly made in memory of Cecil according to the developer’s website. David Kotkin and Glenn Cutler are the game’s developers.
“Cecil’s death empowered us to do a game where animals shoot at the poachers for a change. We have the animals shooting while flying through space for a reason. It has to do with drones and satellites. These modern technologies could track the animals and also track the poachers if they kill another Cecil,” a statement on the website says.
The statement also says proceeds from the game will go into funding those technologies.
The game’s website does not specifically give the developer’s stance on legal hunting. In fact, it never uses the word hunting. Instead there are references only to illegal poaching.
While the developer’s actual opinion on hunting is not exactly clear, there are references to “innocent animals” and “commercial exploitation” of them on the “Stop Poaching” section of their website.
The rejection of the game by Apple caused the game’s developer to put a statement on their website voicing their displeasure, claiming Apple is “worried about offending poachers.”
In it, they argue there are plenty of other games in the app store that feature racial stereotypes and real cultures.
“Cecil’s Revenge does not target one race or group. It targets anyone who is illegally killing animals,” Cutler said in the statement.
“You can find your lost iphone anywhere in the world and an elephant is 30,000 times bigger. I thought the game would inspire Apple to help us with our cause, instead they shot Cecil down, again,” Kotkin said in the statement.