09th Mar2015

Horror queen Darcy Donovan’s app too racy for Apple

by Phil Wheat


The Plumber, a new app from Moviemaze, starring genre regular Darcy Donovan (Lycanthrope, My Babysitter’s a Vampire) has run into issues with the iTunes ratings board. A fun, family adventure, The Plumber sees a tradie take on Evil Cho, a rogue determined to take over the world, while unwittingly helping a coven of dark witches get their power back. He is advised by a cranky, beached mermaid.

An interactive adventure movie, that repeatedly lets the player choose how events turn out by offering them several story options to choose from, The Plumber has been available on other platforms since mid-February. iTunes, however, have told MovieMaze that it cannot appear on the App Store unless the company agrees to release it with a higher rating than 12+. MovieMaze’s Maria Collis refuses to believe that The Plumber is too racy or violent, and demands answers. According to Collis, there’s been a massive interest on the App from teenagers and “I don’t want to suggest that the app is too racy for them”.

Collis and MovieMaze co-creator Erik Lundmark believe there’s no reason for iTunes to rate The Plumber anything other than 12+. Of course The Plumber is not the first app to fall foul of Apple’s arbitrary decisions. Over the years a number of apps have either been rejected or classified too harshly by Apple; and seems it doesn’t take much for the company to consider an app offensive, violent, or too sexual.

In 2009, an App called Obama Trampoline didn’t pass muster with iTunes. In the game, you get to place one of 18 politicians – be it President Obama, John McCain, and so on – onto a giant trampoline and use his or her body to pop balloons that appear on the screen. When Air-O-Matic’s Pull My Finger App was initially knocked back by Apple, the creators were left utterly confused. “Their reasons for banning us really didn’t add up,” developer Sam Magdalein said in an interview. Magadelein would later discover that Apple were simply worried the app – which encompassed flatulence sounds – would offend some of their more sophisticated shoppers. A month later, Apple reconsidered and Pull My Finger became a top seller for iTunes.

MovieMaze believe The Plumber could be an equally successful app for iTunes –  but not if it’s classified as a game for adults only. The company still can’t get answers from Apple on why the app has been rejected for a 12+ rating.


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