Apple has implemented new App Store guidelines that may result in the removal of apps or games that haven’t been updated in two years. One of the first potential victims of the new ruleset is Protopop Games, whose free title, Motivoto, is in danger of being dropped from the App Store for going years without an update. The developer has claimed that Apple’s new guidelines are unfair to indie devs.
“This is not cool,” the developer tweeted in response to an email warning him that his game will be removed from the App Store unless an update is submitted within 30 days. “Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. This is an unfair barrier to indie devs.”
“I’m sitting here on a Friday night, working myself to [the] bone after my day job, trying my best to scrape a living from my indie games, trying to keep up with Apple, Google, Unity, Xcode, MacOS changes that happen so fast my head spins while performing worse on older devices,” he added.
I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they're removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old.— Protopop Games (@protopop) April 23, 2022
It's part of their App improvement system.
This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale.
This is an unfair barrier to indie devs. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
Apple says apps that haven’t been updated in two years will be “removed from sale” (Eurogamer)
The change comes as part of Apple’s App Store improvement scheme which aims to make the online shop easier to use and ensure customers “find great apps that fit their needs” that are compatible with newer iOS devices.
Apple confirms that the changes affects all applications, not just games, and should Apple staff encounter any issues with apps on the store, they’ll get in touch with the developers.
As Apple explained in its email to developers, even if a favourite app or game of yours is removed from the store, you should not encounter any issues using it, including microtransactions.
A support page relating to Apple’s new App Store Improvements can be found here. The company has clarified that it has set up new rules to ensure that apps on the App Store are functional and up-to-date, but apps that are removed will still remain fully functional for current users.