Ultimate General: Gettysburg Back on Apple after Removal over Confederate Flag
Through the controversy and flip-flopping, Apple learned a lesson and re-added Ultimate General: Gettysburg after they hastily removed it earlier this week.
Ultimate General: Gettysburg is a historically-based strategy game that features the Confederate flag, as it revists one of the most notable battles of the Civil War. Following a racially-charged shooting in a Charleston church, South Carolina residents have demanded that the Confederate flag be taken down from their state's capitol building. In the wake of controversy over what the flag symbolizes, many national retailers and online markets have removed all stock with Confederate branding material.
Apple was one of those markets, and it removed all games featuring the flag from the App Store. However, since the removal of Ultimate General: Gettysburg, the game has soared to the height of popularity on Steam, where users have expressed their fondness of this historically accurate title. The game hit the front page and broke into Steam's top 50 games.
Apple, you screwed up
This giant fuss on the Apple iOS App Store has given many consumers a negative opinion about the company, and they've called Apple out on its careless and hasty decision. The biggest concern regarding the game's removal was that Apple initially claimed it wouldn't be removing games in which the flag's use was historical:
"Apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected."
"We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses." - Official Apple Statement
The developer at Game Labs decided to abide by Apple's wishes while sticking to their guns on keeping historical accuracy a priority over profit. After tireless phone calls, they've been able to discuss the situation with Apple and they're back on the App Store, and Ultimate General: Gettysburg is left unchanged.
Let's hope in the future that Apple will think more clearly about what games are "mean-spirited and offensive", and which ones are accurately representing a turning point in American History.