Adventures with Google Play listing rejections

I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on my first game, which I'm hoping to release some time in the next couple of months. The game is hosted on the Google Play in a closed beta. There's a couple of screenshots in the listing, which can only be seen by beta testers at the moment. The listing has been up, in various beta forms, for about 2 years.

A couple of weeks ago, I submitted an update and I received an email saying that the update had been rejected because it violates Google Play's "meta data policy". There was no specific details about what the issue was so I raised a request for further information. I was advised that one of the screenshots featured a large quantity of blood, which is not permitted. Fair enough... I removed the offending screenshot and asked for the listing to be reinstated. I received no reply, so a few days later I simply resubmitted the app. Within a few hours I had yet another email saying that the app had been rejected for violating meta data policy. I again asked for clarification and was again sent a copy of the same picture. I replied saying that I had already removed the picture and got a response, basically, saying "well, I don't know". I asked the sender to then refer the case to somebody who did know and I received no response.

So a few days later I decided to try submitting another update and this time the update was accepted. Great! Problem resolved, I naively thought. Two weeks later, I've done some UI workflow tweaks and want to submit the latest version to my beta testers. If you've read this far, I'm sure you can guess what happened next... another rejection email! I followed the link in the email to launch an appeal, requesting that they either advise me what else needs changing, or reinstate the listing. Yet again I get an email with the same screenshot attached. Again I responded telling them that the screenshot had long since been removed from the listing, and again I got a response saying "As much as I'd like to help, I'm not able to provide any more information or a better answer to your question". So this time I sent a response outlining that this is an appeals process; if he's unable to find anything wrong in the current listing then surely the appeal should be upheld and the listing re-instated. I'm not expecting a response. I guess I'll have to just keep re-submitting updates until it gets accepted; but I have serious concerns that Google can do this at any time and seem to think "duuuuhh, well I dunno" is an acceptable response. What if a major bug comes to lite once the app is live and I need to push an update out, and I end up back in this loop, unable to get the update out to customers? And that's the real rub; that's what makes no sense about the whole system - the listing stays on the Play Store.... it's not pulled.... it stays up with the previous version of the app available for download.... how does that make any sense at all?!!
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

Comments

I can probably upload it tomorrow if I still have a copy. It's only comedy blood splats, but the point of the blog isn't complaining about the screenshot being flagged up... I'm totally willing to accept that the screenshot violated the policy, albeit unintentionally, but I removed the offending image as soon as I was made aware of it. The real point of irritation is the way that google repeatedly refer to the screenshot in my appeals even though it was removed the very first time that it was pointed out to me. And when I call them up on it they just shrug it off with "well, I don't know"
 
No doubt, I was just curious about the shot as well. Wondering if it was the sort of thing you would see in a 16 bit game or something.
 
Yea if you think Mortal Combat kind of "gore", but in much more excessive quantities, then you're on the right track.
 

Blog entry information

Author
Pleng
Views
188
Comments
8
Last update

More entries in Personal Blogs

More entries from Pleng

Share this entry

General chit-chat
Help Users
    Psionic Roshambo @ Psionic Roshambo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC4L_l3SJhI