Apple’s App Store is a great place for indie developers to make it big, and it has been since the company introduced it in 2008. Flappy Bird was the latest game to take iOS users by storm, allowing a practically unknown developer, Dong Nguyen, to rocket to the top of the charts. Nguyen was reportedly making up to $50,000 a day from the game.
Soon after Flappy Bird reached its height of popularity, however, Nguyen removed the app for personal reasons.
Now, according to a report at TechCrunch, Apple is rejecting “Flappy” titled applications from the App Store. Apple notes that attempting to leverage a popular application to achieve success is against App Store rules. A recent title called “Flappy Dragon” was rejected on these grounds, and Apple sent the developer an email, citing the violation of App Store Review Guideline 22.2.
“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.”
A number of apps have started to change their names to prevent deletion, though some games using Flappy in the title still remain.
I think Apple is doing the right thing by rejecting apps that leverage the popularity of another app, but I think that it should be rejected if it copies gameplay, not simply the title. Obviously, though, Apple knows more about the process of rejecting apps than I would.