Apple required Papers, Please to censor its nudity

UPDATE: Apple says this was a mistake, will reinstate controversial content.

UPDATE 12/12/2014 10.06pm: Apple has claimed its rejection of Papers, Please's lo-fi nudity on the grounds of it being "pornographic content" was an error, and the original uncensored version will be reinstated.

Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope made the announcement over Twitter. "Just talked to Apple. The initial rejection for porn was a misunderstanding on their part. They suggested I resubmit with the nudity option," he said.

"I'll make an update to restore the nudity over the weekend (default to off) and it should be available next week.," he added.

Pope further outlined his experience with Apple in an e-mail to Kotaku, wherein he explained that the iPad manufacturer's original decision was a "UI-related misunderstanding."

"Apple contacted me today on the phone and said the initial rejection was a UI-related misunderstanding and that if I resubmit with the nudity restored, it would pass immediately," he explained. "It's hard to say if this is because of the negative coverage, but they did sound sincere that it was just a mistake by the reviewer and they wanted to get it sorted out for my sake."

"I don't know exactly what the misunderstanding was, but my guess is that seeing the 'Nudity' checkbox in the game's settings was enough to red-flag it. If I was an app reviewer slogging through submissions, I'd probably make the same call."

So there you have it. It sounds as if the whole thing came down to one reviewer who chose to err on the side of caution, when ultimately the powers that be would have been okay with the uncensored content all along. At any rate, Papers, Please will remain as uncomfortable and disturbing as ever next week when the update arrives to reinstate its uncensored intrusive full body scanners.

ORIGINAL STORY 12/12/2014 3.31am: Immigration drama Papers, Please is coming to iPad today, but not without one minor change: there's no nudity.

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The original version of Papers, Please's full body scanning was rather unsettling, but intentionally so. The people didn't want to be scanned and you didn't want to scan them. But mother Arstotzka demands it, so what can you do?

The original game required players to occasionally scan travelers to ensure that they weren't hiding any weapons. But Apple found the clothing-removing scanners - a thing that actually exists and is frequently used in airports - to violate its guidelines as the company considers it "pornographic content."

"The iPad version has no full nudity option for the search scanner photos. Apple rejected that build for containing 'pornographic content,' developer Lucas Pope tweeted.

Thankfully, it wasn't too much effort for Pope to get around this as the original game had a "no nudity" option. "The original game has a no-nudity option so it's not a considerable clash," Pope stated.

"Losing nudity isn't too severe imo," he added. "The game has other content I expected to cause trouble that didn't, so there's some relief."

Pope then confirmed that the newly submitted sans-nudity version of Papers, Please was accepted. "I confirmed with the reviewer that it would likely pass without the nudity. Removed it, resubmitted, and it was accepted today."

Papers, Please on iPad will cost $7.99 (about £5), but will be on sale for $5.99 (about £4) over the weekend.

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The underwear version compared to the full monty.

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Jeffrey Matulef

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