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Apple's app review team caused a small fracas this week when it forced award-winning game "Papers, Please" remove pixelated nudity prior to a debut on iPad. But the company changed course on Friday, suggesting the game's developer resubmit the title with a user-selectable full nudity option.
Papers, Please indie developer Lucas Pope informed fans earlier this week that the game's iOS debut would not contain pixelated nudity, a gameplay element many consider essential to the storyline. Following a backlash from the gaming community at large, it seems Apple has reversed its decision and will allow the feature as part of an app update.
"Just talked to Apple. The initial rejection for porn was a misunderstanding on their part. They suggested I resubmit with the nudity option," Pope said in a tweet on Friday. In a follow-up tweet, the developer said he plans to work on an update to restore nudity over the weekend, which should hit the App Store next week.
Apple's App Store review team initially required Pope to remove all instances of nudity, even though they were non-sexual pixelated illustrations, citing App Store rules prohibiting pornography. Critics of the move noted the element is vital to the game's narrative and would lessen the impact of its socio-political commentary.
In Papers, Please, players take on the role of a border control agent working for a fictional totalitarian country called Arstotzka. Players are tasked with performing banal duties associated with processing immigrants into the country, with each correct admission representing a bit more money for their impoverished family back home. Incorrect decisions can hold dire consequences.
Throughout the course of the game, players face increasingly complex moral decisions, including whether to search immigrants for potential weapons or contraband using full-body scans. Without nudity, the feeling of humiliating and degrading incoming citizens as a state actor is all but lost, gamers said.
Papers, Please debuted in the App Store today at a special introductory price of $5.99. An update to restore nudity is expected next week.