After instructing a game developer to resubmit indie darling Papers, Please due to a definition of pornography including 'sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings', Apple got its way. But shortly after, it's reversing its decision — and Papers, Please will be re-resubmitted, nudity and all.
Papers, Please is a game about manning a customs office on the border of a fictional (yet styled after Eastern Europe) country. It enjoyed critical success, as it examined the stresses of both the customs officer, and those trying to see their loved ones with a mountain of red tape in the way. But part of the game involved examining civilians for weaponry, and stripping them down to do so, which Apple didn't initially like. But it has since reversed its decision, and now the original game will be coming to iPad.
I'll make an update to restore the nudity over the weekend (default to off) and it should be available next week.
— Lucas Pope (@dukope) December 12, 2014
The original PC game had the ability to turn nudity off, so resubmitting the game to Apple was just a matter of making the nudity option unavailable. Creator Lucas Pope remained practical about the whole scenario. As he told Ars Technica:
"I made a game about seeing contentious issues from multiple sides though so I'm predisposed to look at things from Apple's side too," he continued. "If I ran a store, there'd probably be rules about what I wanted to stock that conflicted with some vendors, and the final decision about what to sell in my store would be mine alone."
He also maintained that the artistic integrity of the game wasn't compromised by the changes, and that nudity wasn't essential to the experience.
Having played the game, this doesn't ring quite true, as part of the experience is the discomfort felt by both the player and the virtual civilian as they are asked to undress. One might partially undress only to be told, no, you need to be naked.
It's just a piece of the whole, though, and to make the game out to be all about undressing and nudity would be selling it short. Either way, you'll be able to experience the true game soon on iPad. Pixellated nipples and all.