May 25, 2009 in Games (F)
[prMac.com] Boston, MA - Despite receiving a "9 " age rating and store approval for the first 2 versions of its premiere iPhone game, "Hot Dog Down a Hallway", on May 16, 2009, Metaversal Studios was denied approval for its version 1.2 update. The game, which involves launching a hot dog as far as you can down a hallway filled with wiener-destroying traps, contains no change in content from previous releases - and, despite the suggestive name, still contains absolutely no sexually explicit content.
Metaversal Studios released the game for the iPhone/iPod Touch on April 20th, 2009, which has received generally positive reviews, and not a single complaint from a user or a reviewer about its content. One user even submitted a review to the App Store that described it as being "[full of] great innuendos for adults and [yet] sly enough for kids to play and not understand". Trent Reznor, of the band Nine Inch Nails recently had the band's app rejected.
However, after speaking openly about the problematic iTunes approval process, the application was reexamined and approved. "As a small Boston-based game company, we can't compete with the notoriety of Nine Inch Nails, but we're hoping iTunes will come to their senses and publish our update, since they themselves rated it 9 ," says Interactive Designer Dave Landry. Ed Mathews, Director of Business Development, voiced his concern that "...there is nothing more explicit in this game than what can be seen in a weekly episode of The Simpsons.
I'm perplexed by Apple's definition of 'Explicit Material'. When double entendre and humorous language are considered contraband, Apple opens up a Pandora's Box that the entire game industry should be concerned about."
Apple is offering parental controls with iPhone OS 3.0, but no release date has been announced. "Hot Dog Down a Hallway" is still currently available for purchase on iTunes for 99 cents, though developers know that it could be removed at any time.
Dave Landry feels that while the "...iTunes censorship policy is a mystery to us, we're hoping that Apple will allow our game to stay in the iTunes store, at least until the parental controls become available". If you are interested in writing an article about this issue, please contact Alec Shobin about the availability of promotional copies of Hot Dog Down a Hallway.
Metaversal Studios designs games and cartoons for corporate and educational clients including Aerosmith, the New England Aquarium, Fidelity Investments, and Berklee College of Music. Since 2004, Metaversal has split its time between consulting and developing of its own original properties. Metaversal's versatile team of animators, designers, writers, and programmers work in a wide variety of media on a wide variety of platforms. Copyright 2004-2009 Metaversal Studios. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.