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Apple strips devs of promo codes for apps rated 17+

07-19-2009, 06:40 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Apple strips devs of promo codes for apps rated 17+

Quote:
Apple has adopted a new policy regarding promotional copies of iPhone applications. Instead of allotting all developers 50 free copies to distribute as they see fit, those that have a 17+ rating no longer receive any copies to give away, and this is causing a stir in the developer world.

In a controversial move, Apple has taken away the ability for developers to give promotional codes to reviewers if their App Store offerings have a rating of 17+. This has caused quite a stir in the development world since the news broke yesterday, but not because developers are dying to give away free copies of iBoobs.

Since late 2008, Apple has given developers the ability to allocate 50 promotional codes per version of their application (these promo codes expire four weeks after the date of generation). At the time, the move came with many positive responses from developers who felt that it should have been implemented from the beginning.

Apple's rating system, which came into being with the launch of iPhone OS 3.0 last month, is supposed to offer potential buyers a means to determine age-appropriate content. This is not unlike the sometimes controversial Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which independently applies ratings to video games. Apple's ratings currently include 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+.

17+ is defined as:

"Applications in the category may also contain frequent and intense offensive language; frequent and intense cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence; and frequent and intense mature, horror, and suggestive themes; plus sexual content, nudity, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17.
This brings us to the recent policy change, which restricts promo codes to apps that don't cross the 17+ line. The change may seem innocuous upon first blush—Apple's just trying to protect children from violent games and scantily clad men and women. The fear around the Internet, however, seems to be that Apple will begin rating apps that display user-generated content, such as Twitter applications, as 17+ because of the possibility of objectionable content."

This is a legitimate fear, but if you head over to the iTunes Store, finding an application rated 17+ isn't easy. For instance: Assassin's Creed, a port of a popular console game, is rated 12+. Similarly, the classic Doom port is also rated 12+. Even Wobble iBoobs (Premium Uncensored), where the user can make the mammary glands of models on the iPhone screen jiggle as they shake the device, is "not yet rated." On the other hand, e-book reader Eucalyptus (yes, the one that had a run-in with Apple because you could look up a copy of the Kama Sutra) had to be rated 17+.

Still, developers are concerned about the new policy. This isn't to say there aren't options for developers who want to give away copies of their 17+ apps, though. Before the promo code system was launched, developers could use a complicated ad-hoc build system originally intended for developers to seed builds to beta testers. This was annoying to describe to laymen, and sometimes the system worked while sometimes, inexplicably, it did not.

The second option was to send the individuals iTunes gift certificates. Since Apple doesn't allow the gifting of applications (only movies, music, and TV episodes) developers had to buy the lowest denomination of gift-card, $10, sometimes for $.99 applications. This method proved expensive, wasteful, and a bit bizarre, not to mention that many reviewers could not accept gift cards as part of their publications' "no gift acceptance" policies.

While these are certainly still options for developers with apps rated 17+, it puts them on an uneven playing field where free copies can make or break a successful application.
Eh, a little excessive maybe?

Original Article

Last edited by Kamazar; 07-19-2009 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Added article link
07-19-2009, 06:45 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
Where is this classic Doom port of which you speak?

07-19-2009, 06:49 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlakalonji View Post
Where is this classic Doom port of which you speak?
Not my article, but I'm guessing he's talking about Doom Resurrection.
07-19-2009, 06:53 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazar View Post
Not my article, but I'm guessing he's talking about Doom Resurrection.
More than likely.
07-19-2009, 06:53 PM
#5
Joined: May 2009
Location: east coast.... somewhere
Posts: 104
Where did you find this article?
07-19-2009, 06:54 PM
#6
Joined: May 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 204
That does sound like a bit much... there's no way to have accounts tagged as "under 17" and just not allow them to redeem promo codes for applications with that rating? They're going to honestly pin this on the developer, and remove their capability to easily share their apps altogether?

I understand the business move, but it's a shame.
07-19-2009, 07:00 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffeh View Post
Where did you find this article?
Here. Just edited it in the original post, too.
07-19-2009, 07:04 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,045
Hey should just permit them to be used with accounts that have a credit card attached to credit cards that are password protected
07-19-2009, 07:23 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 858
How about parents keep tabs on their own kids? We're not talking about dangerous activities like letting your "tweens" take shots of tequila and then watching them ride off on motorcycles without helmets. Trying to mommy-police something like the App Store is so pathetic that it would be funny except for how tragically sad it actually is. I want to blame Apple, and I have to hand them some of the blame, but really it's not purely Apple's fault. It's this irresponsible mentality among some parents these days.

HEY, so you bought your child an expensive luxury device? Congrats. Now that you're done being Santa Claus, it's time to be a parent. Understand the product that you just placed in your precious little angel's hands. Monitor its use. Your kid wants money to buy a game? Read the game's description. Download it yourself. Your kid buys his own iTunes gift cards to sneak purchases behind your back? Well, besides the fact that you have an untrustworthy child, how about weekly checks of your kid's iTunes account? That's right! Responsibility and accountability in parenting. Be careful, though. While it might result in properly raised offspring, it will probably also eliminate the need to sue a large company for big bucks or get a bill passed through Congress named after your kid!

Apple better watch out. Since they make it impossible to remove their own native apps, someone is bound to realize - sooner or later - that images of severe violence or worse (boobs!!!!!!!) can be viewed by young and old with Safari.

Also, has it become chic again to save the children from video games? Why is the App Store always afflicted by this bullshit when you hear virtually nothing about the Rated-R movies that are available just a single click away?
07-19-2009, 07:40 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by HJJ View Post
How about parents keep tabs on their own kids? We're not talking about dangerous activities like letting your "tweens" take shots of tequila and then watching them ride off on motorcycles without helmets. Trying to mommy-police something like the App Store is so pathetic that it would be funny except for how tragically sad it actually is. I want to blame Apple, and I have to hand them some of the blame, but really it's not purely Apple's fault. It's this irresponsible mentality among some parents these days.

HEY, so you bought your child an expensive luxury device? Congrats. Now that you're done being Santa Claus, it's time to be a parent. Understand the product that you just placed in your precious little angel's hands. Monitor its use. Your kid wants money to buy a game? Read the game's description. Download it yourself. Your kid buys his own iTunes gift cards to sneak purchases behind your back? Well, besides the fact that you have an untrustworthy child, how about weekly checks of your kid's iTunes account? That's right! Responsibility and accountability in parenting. Be careful, though. While it might result in properly raised offspring, it will probably also eliminate the need to sue a large company for big bucks or get a bill passed through Congress named after your kid!

Apple better watch out. Since they make it impossible to remove their own native apps, someone is bound to realize - sooner or later - that images of severe violence or worse (boobs!!!!!!!) can be viewed by young and old with Safari.

Also, has it become chic again to save the children from video games? Why is the App Store always afflicted by this bullshit when you hear virtually nothing about the Rated-R movies that are available just a single click away?
I think that rated-R movies and videogames exist in different worlds. Parents are more concerned about kids doing illegal things in the virtual world and that they know how to do it then letting them watch it, even it is practically the same thing. Maybe parents are worried that their children will become bloodthirsty killers. I met a mom who let her 8-year old watch Gladiator but he couldn't play M games. WTF?

I'm a staff editor at GamePodunk.com. Follow me on Twitter (@HLLivingLoco) for games and fun!