When Dong Nguyen took down
the viral hit game 'Flappy Bird
' citing the reason as him 'being unable to handle its massive success', little did he know that the game would spawn a new problem for the Google Play
and Apple iTunes
app stores. According to recent reports, both Google and Apple have started rejecting game titles from developers with the word 'flappy' in it. Developers might feel that they are on the receiving end of an unfair deal from the app stores, but according to reasons given by the companies, it just goes to show the number of clones that are coming up.
Apple over the weekend rejected a game by developer Ken Carpenter, of Mind Juice Media from Vancouver Canada, called Flappy Dragon. He said on Saturday that he was told his app violated the section 22.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines:
22.2: Apps that contain false, fraudulent or misleading representations will be rejected
We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.
We found your app name attempts to leverage a popular app.
While it may be a genuine cause of concern, as users who are still hunting for similar games are making no such distinction, app developers have taken to the social networking boards to voice their angst against the clampdown.
Kuyi Mobile also tweeted on Saturday saying "@madgarden @wtrebella @kylnew @mindjuicemedia I think you should resubmit. Besides Ken, I know 3 other devs who just got rejected. :S"
The ironic part is there are games which are already existing, such as 'Flappy Bee', Flappy Plane', Flappy Hero', 'Flappy Flyer' which are still on the charts and have had a rising popularity in the recent times. Reports point out to the fact that it has left developers peeved at the raw deal. In fact Carpenter even said on Sunday, that he will be resubmitting his game to Apple under the new title 'Dwerpy Dragon'.
Google Play is also reportedly rejecting app submissions with the word Flappy in it, some, even after they've been already been approved. Ken Carpenter on Saturday tweeted: "Thanks. Yeah, I was rejected from Google Play too. :-)" after his listed Flappy Dragon app was removed.
Happy Mage Games also chimed in, saying: "@MindJuiceMedia Sorry to hear that. Apparently the same is true for Google. Use of "Flappy" is now treated as Spam."
Kuyi Mobile added: "Even Google Play is also rejecting app submissions that use Flappy in the title. Must be pretty saturated now."
Speaking to Techcrunch, Carpenter said he never received a Fair Warning email from Google, which is standard in cases of rejection. He did receive a mail later however, and it seems Google is not being as explicit in its reasons as Apple, simply "referencing the 'spam' provision of Google Play terms", without being specific.
The Verge also reported that Apple and Google are 'fighting off clones'. The games caught in the fight include the likes of Flappy Pig, Splashy Fish amongst others. Flappy Bee however recently changed its name to Jumpy Bee. There are complex questions that do arise from the problem, namely, how desperate are app developers to launch clones of a successful app, thereby making the whole concept of creating a good app formula-based? How genuinely different are they from the erstwhile successful app? And whether it is right for app stores to take down apps based on similar sounding names or plots? Right now one thing is for sure, Flappy is definitely not in. Not with Google and Apple at least.