Apple runs the App Store with an incredibly strict set of guidelines. No pornographic, explicit, crude or otherwise objectionable content is allowed. Apparently that includes satire. In keeping with the company's move this past January rejecting Endgame: Syria Apple has blocked a new game called Joyful Executions from sale in the App Store. Both games were blocked under guideline 16.1:
Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.
So where did it all go wrong? Probably from its moment of conception. Developed by 8-Bit Underpants, Joyful Executions is a turn-based strategy game where the player controls commissar Kim Bok Kyong and his four-man firing squad. Racing against the clock, you must manage your ammunition supplies and modify your tactics to ensure each wave of executions go... well smoothly.
Joyful Executions' admittedly dark premise is a satire of the North Korean government, and Apple has a history of blocking titles that include real-world political identifiers. Their e-book store, meanwhile, is full of all sorts of political satire, criticism and commentary. Holding games to a different standard of intellectual content rules than other content holds the artform back as a creative medium.
In an interview with PocketGamer developer Fredrik Nordstrom explained why he thinks his game is important.
The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) leadership's tactics of bullying their way to concessions by use of aggressive threats must not be tolerated. I believe it is imperative for us to not grant them the respect they demand by acknowledging them as equals. That's why any parody on North Korea's regime reminds us what they really are. And that's why I'm releasing this game.
The game has already been released on the Google Play as a free download. Head over to PocketGamer for the rest of their interview with Nordstrom. You can video the game's trailer below.