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Apple removes Sweatshop HD from App Store

By Matthew Handrahan

Apple removes Sweatshop HD from App Store

Thu 21 Mar 2013 3:21pm GMT / 11:21am EDT / 8:21am PDT

Littleloud claims Apple was "uncomfortable" with sweatshop theme

The iOS version of Sweatshop, a Flash game by the UK-based indie Littleloud, has been removed from the App Store by Apple.

According to a report on, Apple withdrew the game on the grounds that the company was, "uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop."

Sweatshop HD - which was initially released in November last year - is a riff on the tower defence genre, in which you are tasked with creating a production line for mass-market clothes and goods. The game's mechanics force players to cut corners and make difficult, potentially dangerous decisions in order to meet their orders.

"Apple specifically cited references in the game to clothing factory managers 'blocking fire escapes', 'increasing work hours for labour,' and issues around the child labour as reasons why the game was unsuitable for sale," said Simon Parkin, Littleloud's head of games.

"Littleloud amended the app to clarify that Sweatshop is a work of fiction and was created with the fact-checking input of charity Labour Behind the Label, and to emphasise that the game doesn't force players to play the game in one way or another. Rather, Sweatshop is a sympathetic examination of the pressures that all participants in the sweatshop system endure.

"Sadly, these clarifications and changes weren't enough to see the game reinstated for sale."

From Recommendations by Taboola


Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios

99 125 1.3
Popular Comment
And yet Apple's products are made under similar conditions. Oh the hypocrisy!

Posted:2 years ago


Paul Gheran Scrum Master

123 28 0.2
haha Alex, I was thinking the same thing but phrased like this:

A little too close to home perhaps?

Posted:2 years ago


Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire

85 20 0.2

Posted:2 years ago


Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,127 1,840 1.6
I'm still waiting for the Apple Dictatorship App.

Posted:2 years ago


Shane Sweeney Academic

474 569 1.2
Ahhh censorship.

Posted:2 years ago


Ben Gonshaw Game Design Consultant, AKQA

32 45 1.4
It's a seriously good game with a fantastic message.
That the censors at Apple thought that Littleloud were exploiting an issue to make a game instead of realising that they were making a statement about an issue speaks volumes.
Games are still toys or playthings and it's hard to see how the perception can be shifted to allow us expression in the medium to talk about uncomfortable things.
Good luck to Littleloud. I really hope that they can find a way out of what must be a challenging financial situation and make back some money.

Posted:2 years ago


Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd

415 1,071 2.6
I've been saying for years now that while it's fine for the proprietors of a walled garden to make their own rules, it's the duty of content creators to try to challenge them constantly. A system that doesn't adapt becomes brittle and anachronistic - you just have to look at XBLA to see where that path leads.

While Apple are still a long way from truly understanding games, I think they are starting to become more receptive. It's a massive shame that they couldn't come to a compromise that would save LittleLoud from having wasted so much of their time and effort in trying to enrich their platform.

Posted:2 years ago


Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios

99 125 1.3
Also on a more basic level a game with poor working conditions is banned but games where you're shooting people in the face are welcomed with open arms, cheesy grins and a bulging wallet.

Posted:2 years ago


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