- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2018

U.K.-based game developer Slitherine is stunned at Apple for pulling its realistic Afghanistan war project from the iOS App Store.

A slew of historically accurate war games exist in the iOS App Store, but “Afghanistan ‘11” has been removed for using a “specific person or real entity” — U.S. armed forces and the Taliban.

The move came in the wake of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s remark to the Anti-Defamation League in New York City. Mr. Cook said those who promote “hate” have “no place on our platforms.”

“I believe the most sacred thing each of us is given is our judgment, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong,” Mr. Cook said Monday. “Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin.”

Paulo Paglianti, Slitherine’s global public relations manager, told Polygon in an email that he was flummoxed by Apple’s decision. 

“Historical rigor is a fundamental key of Slitherine and Matrix Games DNA,” he wrote Thursday. “We never portrayed an ‘enemy’ for its [ethnic] origin. Our [games] are based on history and we always try and depict realistic historical situations.”


The entertainment website noted that Apple’s rules appear to be inconsistently enforced.

Some games that aim for historical accuracy include Twilight Struggle; Battle of the Bulge; Carrier Battles 4: Guadalcanal; Panzer Corps (also by Slitherine); 1812: The Invasion of Canada, and others.

“Afghanistan ‘11 is probably the only wargame ever produced where killing the enemy is not the main focus of the game,” Mr. Paglianti continued. “The real objective for the player is to charm and help the Afghani civil population, persuading the local leaders to support the U.S. military and reject the Taliban overlords.”

Apple has not replied to Polygon’s request for comment.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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