Developers Angry After Apple Reportedly Announces a Major Change for Its App Store: 'I Feel Sick'
Some smaller creators were blindsided by the announcement and took to Twitter to air their frustrations.
It looks like Apple might be taking a stand against apps that haven't been sufficiently updated, The Verge reports. A screenshotted email sent to impacted developers under the title "App Improvement Notice" announces the company will wipe apps that haven't been "updated in a significant amount of time" from the App Store; developers only have 30 days to comply.
Some smaller developers were blindsided by the announcement and took to Twitter to air their frustrations. The news made developer Robert Kabwe of Prototype Games "feel sick," and he cited the fact that console games from 2000 are still available for sale as proof of the "unfair barrier" the tech giant's out-of-the-blue mandate has created for indie developers.
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
Another user, developer Emilia Lazer-Walker, also expressed her dismay, stressing that some games are as finished as they'll ever be, unsuitable for updates or a live-service model.
.@apple is removing a few of my old games b/c they have "not been updated in a significant amount of time"— emilia ✨ (@lazerwalker) April 23, 2022
Games can exist as completed objects! These free projects aren't suitable for updates or a live service model, they're finished artworks from years ago. pic.twitter.com/iflH70j7q4
Per the Apple's App Store Improvements page, the company states, "We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don't follow current review guidelines, or are outdated." The page is undated, so there's uncertainty around its time of publication or update.
The page goes on to say that if an app is removed for lacking updates, it can be reinstated when an update is submitted and approved.
Apple isn't alone in its app-store policy change. Google Play Store announced earlier this month that it would also make some older, outdated apps less visible, giving developers until November 1, 2022 to make the necessary changes, along with the option to request a six-month extension.
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