Google banned the RPG from Chinese developer Spinner of Yarns called Revolution of Our Times. The game was banned for containing sensitive matter based on real life events.
According to Hong Kong FP, the choice-driven RPG sees players having to make decisions as a Hong Kong protestor. You’ll need to choose how you protest, what equipment to bring to the protests, and also deal with the consequences that come with it, such as being beaten, arrested, or even killed for your efforts.
The app reportedly was going to donate 80% of its proceeds to the Spark Alliance foundation, which helped post bail for Hong Kong protestors who have been arrested.
However, Google didn’t let the the app stay on the store for long. According to the Wall Street Journal, a document stated that Hong Kong authorities sent an objection notice to the Alphabet company. A Google rep rebuffed the claim and told the Wall Street Journal that the app was flagged internally.
The article states…
“According to the developer, Google said the app, called “The Revolution of Our Times,” violated rules related to ‘sensitive events.’
“A Google spokesman said the company has a policy that prohibits developers from ‘capitalizing on sensitive events such as attempting to make money from serious ongoing conflicts or tragedies through a game,’ and that it deemed the app in violation of the policy.”
But The Revolution Of Our Times isn’t the only app being blocked on the stores.
Apple has also been on a banning spree, with the company removing HKmap Live from the app store because they claimed that it allowed users to evade local law enforcement, and they also banned the app for the news outlet Quartz.
According to the Wall Street Journal…
“Recently, Apple removed the news outlet Quartz’s app from its App Store in China. A Quartz editor said on Twitter that Apple blocked the app at the request of China, likely because of the outlet’s coverage of Hong Kong protests. Apple said it removed Quartz because Chinese authorities said it didn’t comply with local law.”
It’s odd that HKmap Live is still available on the Google Play store, but Revolution of our Times was banned.
What’s even odder is that Google Play isn’t available in mainland China, so why prevent people from accessing the game?
If you attempt to visit the Google Play store the page returns error, but you can see via a cached archive that the game was available on the Google Play store for a short time and garnered a lot of positive feedback from Hong Kong residents and sympathizers to the Hong Kong protest.
Spinner of Yarns has reportedly appealed the ban but it seems unlikely that Google will reverse the decision.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)