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The No.1 game on iTunes, Weed Firm, has been removed on Wednesday by Apple. The decision does not sit well with the games creator, Manitoba Games, who says that there are other games still accessible that also highlight illegal activity. A statement was issued by Manitoba Games on its website that it was “entirely Apple’s decision.” Continuing in the statement, the developers mention how other marijuana-based games are still available. Manitoba also noted that many other games that include “illegal activities” such as vandalism, murder and animal cruelty are also still available.
The game follows a drug dealer named Ted Growing who, as the website reads, is a botany sophomore that was expelled from school. The game allows the player to learn about the pot industry and how to grow it, how to create other varieties, how to increase yields, how to get a larger customer base and basically how to become the best drug dealer in town. The game allows players to interact with characters and the player has to complete many tasks in order to create more shelves for the players store. This, in turn gives the gamer a more successful business and helps the player to become a better grower and seller of marijuana.
That is not all the game offers. Weed Firm also allows players to use the in-game cash made to purchase better growing materials such as vinyl or to take their profits and blow it all on a digital stripper. True to the drug world we live in, players have obstacles to deal with like gangsters and crooked cops. The player can smoke a joint in-game which will effect the players behaviour and also return back to the players apartment to drop off or pick up more weed.
With Apple removing its most popular game, Weed Firm, developers at Manitoba Games are not giving up citing that the developers condone the game and the actions depicted within it but only within the context of the simulation itself. The game’s disclaimer clearly states that “The creators of this game do not encourage the cultivation or use of cannabis.” They continue to state that it is purely a game of fiction and to be viewed only as such. “We do not want children playing Weed Firm,” Manitoba said, “but we firmly believe that adults should have a choice to do whatever the hell they want as long as they are not hurting anybody in the process.” Manitoba Games is determined to edit and revamp the game and bring it back a more censored version for approval. The developers included that the game will remain “as censorship free as possible” on all Android, non-iOS devices.
Many developers in the past has complained about the confusing and somewhat frustrating review process for games to get into the App Store. All applicants must go through quality and objectionable content control before the game is reviewed and approved.
With all the other games available in the App Store pertaining to marijuana, crime, murder and the like, it is odd how Weed Firm seemed singled out. Apple, known for its strict moral criteria, made the decision to pull Weed Firm, its most popular game from the App Store. Perhaps the fact that it sat at No.1 for days simply brought it to the forefront? Either way, Weed Firm players are going to have to play it on Android or wait for a new iOS version.
By Derik L. Bradshaw