Game talkWindows Mobile games you can’t have

 Posted by (Visited 4860 times)  Game talk
Jul 272009
 

At least, according to their new “app store” style marketplace (coming this fall) policies, laid out in this file: MarketplaceContentPolicies.pdf (application/pdf Object).

  • Any content with prolonged and/or excessive use of firearms or weapons or other content that facilitates the use of firearms or weapons
  • Any content that depicts decapitation, blood splatter, killing, gore or cruelty
  • Any content that depicts excessive violence
  • Requests or instructions to injure or otherwise harm a specific person or group of people
  • Repeated blows or shots inflicted upon people/creatures, violent blows to the head, guns/weapons pointed at head, impaling, exploding body parts, guns/weapons pointed towards reader/audience, depictions of fatal injuries, strangulation/choking, inflicting wounds with swords/knives
  • Excessive and gratuitous amounts of blood and/or fleshy body parts, blood spurting from wounds
  • Cruelty to animals
  • People/creatures on fire

Gotta love the specificity. How do you get gratuitous blood– or any, for that matter — without depicting guns, knives, blows, choking, swords… Guess we won’t see Plants vs Zombies, N+, Prince of Persia or any Tom Clancy games on here…  I also like the “guns pointed at reader” which seems explicitly created to prevent the James Bond title sequence from making an appearance. :)

Hmm, so Space Invaders… do they count as creatures, I wonder?

  18 Responses to “Windows Mobile games you can’t have”

  1. So, basically, no games that Microsoft has developed or published? Okay…

  2. I like the fact that you can’t have cruelty to animals, but there’s no stricture against cruelty to people.

    Richard

  3. the windows mobile platform needs all the help it can get at the moment, MS are only going to shoot themselves in the foot with this one as gamers start buying the latest handheld Apple products.

  4. How do you get gratuitous blood– or any, for that matter — without depicting guns, knives, blows, choking, swords…

    CSI?

    I like the fact that you can’t have cruelty to animals, but there’s no stricture against cruelty to people.

    Technically, there is such stricture.

  5. Don’t they know that games like Teris actually lead to more domestic violence than anything else? Games like Tekken fill me with calmness whilst Tetris always make me want to get up and smack my opponent in the face.

  6. Another reason not to toss the old desktop into the trash just yet.

    Do these guys sit around a conference table and say, “Gentlemen, today we’re going to think of ways to lock ourselves out of the core gamer market. Wouldn’t want to upset the PTA, would we?”

    It’s going to be a PITA if the whole industry (and society) goes this direction and I have to go underground to produce Grindhouse Online.

  7. @Scott Davies: MS may shoot themselves in the foot, but they won’t be able to show it in a game.

    Also… If we’re going to have rules like this about violent content, I’d also like rules about bad grammar, unflattering characterizations of fat people, gratuitous Belgians, anthropomorphic furniture and the use of “squee!” as an anime exclamation. I’m fine with blood, gore, etc. But that other stuff makes me true nutz.

  8. Out of curiosity:

    - In Super Mario World, Mario has that trick in World 3 where he keeps jumping on a turtle over and over to get infinite 1-UPs. Would that be prohibited by “Repeated blows or shots inflicted upon people/creatures”?

    - On another Mario note, do Babombs and Bullet Bills fall under “exploding body parts”?

    - Can I go ahead and assume that Ghost Rider will never be in a Windows Mobile game due to prohibition of “People/creatures on fire”?

  9. No violent blows to the head, Cruelty to Animals, or People on Fire? That even covers Super Mario Bros.

    Just to act like a smarty-pants, you could have a game where you play doctor and include non-gratuitous blood.

    I like the fact that you can’t have cruelty to animals, but there’s no stricture against cruelty to people.

    Richard

    It was number two: Any content that depicts decapitation, blood splatter, killing, gore or cruelty

    Which makes the cruelty to animals one redundant. ^.^;;

  10. This just isn’t an issue unless Microsoft goes all Apple on their next version of Windows Mobile and prevents users from loading programs from where ever they want whenever they want.

  11. Relee>It was number two: Any content that depicts decapitation, blood splatter, killing, gore or cruelty

    That’s a stricture against the depiction of cruelty. The “cruelty to animals” line doesn’t mention depiction. It’s OK to write a game that involves tying up a random person and throwing your windows portable device at them and scoring points for the loudness of their scream; it’s not OK to do so with an animal instead of a person.

    Well, it’s not OK in the first case if you accept Morgan’s humans-are-a-kind-of-animal categorisation, in which case the mention of the depiction of cruelty becomes redundant.

    Richard

  12. in which case the mention of the depiction of cruelty becomes redundant.

    There’s a fine line between redundancy and reinforcement. ;)

  13. OK, I’m going to try and look on the bright side here, for a second.

    Supposed the new windows app store is popular, and it can sell a lot of games, but not games that are about violence? Imagine a new gaming space that is filled with interesting innovative games (or at least game dressings), and a bunch of bejeweled clones.

  14. Just as a side note, you can install any program you like on a WinMo (or any other mobile except the iPhone). These app store clones are not the only possible source of software for the platforms, they are just one more distribution channel. Apple seems to be the only total control freak among them.

  15. Exactly. Apple’s iPhone has become so popular I think folks have not only accepted their s/w distribution model, they’re taking it for granted.

    What Microsoft is doing is trying to explain what will or won’t get a program rejected in their marketplace. This is actually a step up from what I’m told about the Apple process where many programs are rejected for inclusion and no one knows exactly why.

    Also Microsoft’s tools for developing with Windows CE are completely free regardless of whether I want to give (or sell) the program I create to 10 or 100000 people. This is not the case with Apple.

  16. Eaglewing, I know that – I have a WinMo phone myself. :) But distribution is VERY powerful. Once there is an app store it will be the main way anyone gets content.

  17. Well, if anyone actually wanted to play violent games on their mobile phone (rather than say a PSP), it sounds like there’s going to be a marketing opportunity.

    Much ado …

  18. Here’s a fine example of what I’m talking about regarding Apple:

    http://www.riverturn.com/blog/?p=455

    Basically this company (RiverTurn) was told that they could no longer distribute their program that helps folks access their Google Voice (voicemail) because the product was too similar to a core function of the iPhone (assumedly the AT&T voicemail feature).

    The lovely part is the author was informed of little more then I just said and given no recourse and no way to even find out what he’d need to change to comply with the rules.

    There are bigger concerns in the industry then whether we’ll be able to download GTA IV from the Microsoft store for our Windows Mobile Phones …

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