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Apple removes Sweatshop HD from App Store

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 PocketGamer.biz, 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."

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Matthew Handrahan

Editor-in-Chief

Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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