Apple is in the process of removing old games and apps that haven’t been updated for a while, according to several independent app developers. As spotted by VGC, these developers have shared an email from Apple stating that the App Store is being modified.
“App Store Improvement Notice” is sent to owners of apps that have not been updated “within a significant time” and warns them that the app will be removed from sale in 30 days . App makers can keep their apps active on the Apple App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days.
Some developers have expressed dissatisfaction with this policy. One of those, of Protopop Games, said Apple’s new policy was “uncool” and called it an “unfair barrier for indie developers.” It looks like Apple’s App Store improvement initiative is removing apps that are over two years old and haven’t had updates. The initiative aims to improve browsing on the App Store by removing outdated and deprecated apps, such as those that no longer work on modern iOS.
“To make it easier for customers to find apps that suit their needs, we want to make sure apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date,” reads a developer support page on the site. official from Apple. However, users who have downloaded an older app to their device shouldn’t be too worried as the app should remain “fully functional for current users”.
If Apple starts removing many older apps, legacy games from the App Store could be consigned to history, posing a big retention problem, a particularly acute problem for mobile games. While console games always have the advantage of being available for purchase on physical media, mobile games are almost always software downloads. Apple’s ecosystem meanwhile means it’s particularly difficult to download apps that aren’t available on its App Store.
Others, however, said Apple’s intent could improve app discovery and overall download quality. But for many indie developers, that could mean hasty updates to their games if they want their title to remain available to App Store users.
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