Apple Inc. Blocks Palestine/Israel Conflict Game, Approves It Later

Apple Inc. Blocks Palestine/Israel Conflict Game, Approves It Later
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

Apple rejected a mobile game called Liyla or The Shadows of War last week for its political undertones, but later the smartphone maker decided to approve the mobile game. Earlier, the iPhone maker not only rejected the game but also said that it should not be considered a game. Now the app is available on both Android and iOS for free, says The Verge.

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Liyla – not apt for Games category?

During Apple’s app review process, the monochrome platformer that tells the story of a Palestinian girl living in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing conflict with Israel was rejected because it contained content that it said was not appropriate for the Games category.

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After Palestinian developer Rasheed Abueideh, the creator of Liyla, received the rejection, he posted a screenshot of the text that he received from the tech giant underlining the reason behind the rejection of the game.

He was asked to revise the app category for his app, “since we found that your app is not appropriate in the Games category. “It would be more appropriate to categorize your app in News or Reference for example,” reads the message.

The Cupertino-based smartphone giant has a storied history of rejecting or criticizing mobile games that touch on culturally- or politically-charged subjects, such as games highlighting Chinese factory conditions and violence against children.

Apple’s App Store guidelines

Apple’s App Store guidelines specifically underline its strict stance on what is allowed and what is not allowed in its marketplace.

“We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate,” the guidelines read. “If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical App. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store.”

These strict rules by have gotten it in trouble before, but the iPhone maker has remained steadfast in most of its rejections. However, this time the smartphone maker has changed its mind, probably because of backlash from Liyla fans and supporters of the story that Abueideh is trying to tell through the game.

On Monday, Apple shares closed up 1.27% at $96.43. Year to date, the stock is down by over 10%, while in the last year, it is down by over 27%. The stock has a 52-week high of $132.97 and a 52-week low of $89.47.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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