The developers of a mobile game called Cecil’s Revenge announced on Thursday that Apple has rejected their application from the App Store due to guideline violations. The gameplay of Cecil’s Revenge is similar to that of the classic 2D game Asteroids, but instead of shooting space rocks, the player is tasked with gunning down images of hunters from a car filled with wild animals.

The game can still be downloaded for Android devices from Google Play.

According to the creators of the app, David Kotkin and Glenn Cutler, Apple rejected the app due to guidelines that forbid mobile games from targeting any specific group or individual.

“Enemies within the context of a game cannot solely target[s] a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity,” Kotkin and Cutler quoted from Apple.

The developers said they are not targeting hunters, but poachers who illegally kill wildlife. The game’s name is a reference to Cecil, the male lion that was killed in July in Zimbabwe by an American dentist, Walter Palmer. The Zimbabwean government has since condemned the kill as illegal and is calling for Palmer’s extradition so he can face charges.

“Cecil’s death empowered us to do a game where animals shoot at the poachers for a change. We have the animals shooting while flying through space for a reason. It has to do with drones and satellites. These modern technologies could track the animals and also track the poachers if they kill another Cecil,” said Cutler.

The developers argue that Apple is being overtly heavy-handed with its rejection and point to other apps that also involve stereotypes. Cutler and Kotkin also say that Apple’s policies are not universally applied.

“There are plenty of games still on the App Store that feature stereotypes of specific races like African Americans and Hispanics and real entities and cultures like gangsters, drug dealers and the mafia depicted in violent acts,” read a press release from the developers.

“I thought the game would inspire Apple to help us with our cause, instead they shot Cecil down, again,” said Kotkin.

The developers claim that proceeds from the game will go towards drones and satellites to stop illegal poaching.

Screenshot from Cecil's Revenge

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  • Charlie

    Cowards hide behind veiled exertions. The hunter, Mr. Palmer, is NOT being pursued by the Zimbabwean govt. it boils down to the PH didn’t do what was necessary filing proper paper work which delegitimized the professional nature of what was otherwise a perfectly legal endeavor. The client hunter didn’t target this particular lion. They were hunting lions. Cecil was only colloquially named. He was no ones pet. Everyone knew who he was because he was very visible. Gregarious almost. Almost. That’s why he was popular because he was seen. Others may never be seen except only at night. The fact that it was a collared lion didn’t mean it was a protected lion. It only meant it was one that was on their list of collared lions that they derived data from. Tagged and collared animals are still legal game. The collar also was not very visible to the hunter, seeing as how the lion had an exceptional black mane that obscured the view of the collar. Everything from dragging a carcass to a bait in order to draw a lion in to the shipping of the animal was done correctly. The paperwork was the problem. Perhaps the PH knew it which is why he tried to destroy the collar, as stupid as that was. People are using this event as an excuse to try paint hunters in a bad light, and so are the creators of this app. They also are playing on the drones and satellites to prevent poaching BS. they could never sell enough of these apps to send a single satellite into space and the drones they want are to harass hunters while hunting or ruin the hunting situation before you get there. A veiled tactic for animal rightists to manipulate and lie and fundraiser in order to get what they want. Criminal….

  • suxy

    Animals in the wild belong to aa of us–not just little men who want to pretend they are big and brave. Killing a lion who was used to people is barbaric. Cecil belonged to all of us & should have lived for future generations of black maned lions, which are very rare now.
    Hunters for FOOD are one thing, but hunters for FUN are sick.