Phone Story Pulled from Apple’s App Store

Apple has taken down a game that is overly critical of the process by which most smart phones are made because it highlights the exploitation of workers and the environment. The game is called Phone Story and using a simple gameplay mechanic, shows how workers in third-world countries are treated. Perhaps the game was a little too controversial (or hit too close to home) for Apple, who pulled the game from its App store without public comment.

The game was developed by MolleIndustria, who are better known for their game, Every Day The Same Dream. Phone Story tells its tale via four mini-games that show what it takes to make a phone including extracting minerals for components in Congo, using outsourced labor in China, dealing with "e-waste" in Pakistan, and consumers buying the product in Western companies.

Early this morning a member of MolleIndustria tweeted that Phone Story had been removed from the App store for violating four app store review guidelines.

Those guidelines include depicting against children or child abuse, presenting objectionable or crude content, containing fraudulent of misleading representations, and failing to comply with all legal requirements.

The bad news is that MolleIndustria was planning on its 70 percent share (Apple takes 30 percent) of the app's profits including Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior. Of course, because Apple controls the gateway for all iOS software developers, they can do whatever they want. All we can do is tell you about it.


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  1. 0
    Kojiro says:

    Is it me, or is this article missing a couple key words?

    "..guidelines include depicting against children…" Depicting what against children?

    "…MolleIndustria was planning on its 70 percent share (Apple takes 30 percent) of the app's profits including Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior."  I believe you meant to say they were "planning on donating".

  2. 0
    kurifu says:

    Seems if they just remove the depictions of child abuse they can get their game back up. I think they can manage this without harming the (not entirely honest) message of their game.

  3. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    I'd recommend the developer port it to Android and release the APK publicly on their website AND on the Android market. That way, if it's removed by Google from the market, it's still available. Funny thing about when apps like these are taken down: typically, it turns more attention to them than they had before.

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