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Report: Guns no longer okay in Apple App Store screenshots

UPDATE Even if your game is perfectly okay to sell on the store, a policy change suggests it'll get rejected if you try to include pictures of firearms in your App Store screens -- until you change them.

Update: The developer of Gunslugs II has told Gamasutra that, after multiple rejections, Apple did eventually allow him to update his game without having to modify screenshots. More details can be found in his blog post on the subject.

Original story follows:

Reports from Pocket Gamer and Kotaku state that Apple has begun rejecting games submitted for its iOS App Store if they include images of guns in their store page screen shots. 

Affected games are reported to include Gunslugs II and Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens.

Speaking to Kotaku, Gunslugs II developer Pascal Bestebroer said, "The idea behind it, from what I understand, is that even though the app has a 12+ rating, they do need icons and screenshots and basically the store page to be 4+ rated."

Gunslugs II is a retro-inspired game with blocky pixel graphics, and its screenshots are hardly realistic. The game was actually selected as a "Best New Game" by Apple on its release, but an update to the title was rejected after the new screenshot policy came into effect -- which seems to have been sometime in late January, according to the reports.

"The update was rejected by Apple because of the 'violence' in the screenshots," Bestebroer said. You can see Gunslugs II, in a screenshot taken from its App Store page, below:

The game was last updated on February 3, according to its App Store listing, and currently contains pixelated weapons in all of its screens. These are the exact same images as in its Google Play listing -- at least for the moment. It is unclear from the Kotaku report which image is the one that Apple felt went too far. 

Of note is the fact that Apple is not rejecting the games themselves or making developers modify their content -- just their store-page marketing materials. Games which have removed guns from their screenshots are currently online (such as Splash Damage's Tempo, which has an update date of February 11 on its iTunes store page.) 

Compare the before-and-after of Tempo's marketing materials below. The "before" image is taken from developer Splash Damage's own site

There are more before-and-after screenshots -- and ones featuring obvious and clumsy censorship -- accompanying Kotaku's story

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