Wednesday, May 7, 2014

+1 for Apple

No more original title needed: Damn you Ellen DeGeneres*

We have made a number of poker games, first coming out in March 2009.

Heads Up: Hold'em was the first, using the common poker term in the name, Heads Up.

In April 2013, Ellen DeGeneres' Heads Up! game came out.  There was a small bump when their app came out.  That spike is a hundred or so people who maybe downloaded the wrong app.  But overall, our poker games sales are considerably lower now then they were before Heads Up! came out.

We've been happily co-existing for a year now.  Until we submitted a new game, using our existing branding scheme.  Heads Up: All In.  And Apple rejected it...


We found that your app, and its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. 
If your iTunes Connect Application State is Rejected, a new binary will be required. Make the desired metadata changes when you upload the new binary.
Specifically, your app name leverages a popular app on the App Store which could be misleading to users.  
It would be appropriate to remove or revise any misleading content from your app name.

We've resubmitted it with a bug fix (some mixed up GameCenter stuff), and a set of reasons why I think we should be able to use the name.

This app was rejected for using the "Heads Up" as part of the name.  There are a few reasons I think we should still be allowed to use this name.   
1)   Our use of "Heads Up: Xyz" naming of poker games pre-dates the newer popular game by 4 years.  Our game first used this name in March 2009.  The other "Heads Up!" game first came out in April 2013.   
2)  "Heads Up" is a common poker term.  
3)  I can sadly confirm we've gotten no benefit of their using a similar name to our existing apps. shows a small spike in one of our poker apps around the time their game first came out.  But overall the downloads are significantly lower than before their "Heads Up!" came out. 
It got rejected again, for the same naming reason.  This time, I submitted much the same message to the App Review Board, a higher level appeal.  And they OK'd it and accepted the app!  Thanks, Apple!

Heads Up: All In is available in the App Store now.

* I knew posting a complaint about Apple will get nothing as a response from Apple.  But maybe Ellen has people out looking for blog posts damning her.  That was a hope that it would make a few minutes of good TV :)

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