Day of Deletion
On December 31, in the biggest single-day purge in the company’s history, Apple removed over 39,000 mobile games from the Chinese version of its mobile gaming storefront: App Store.
As reported by Reuters, Apple’s scorched earth motion saw the App Store lose over 39,000 mobile games and over 46,000 non-gaming apps. Further investigation from research company Qimai suggests that of the top-selling 1,500 iOS games available, only a mere 74 titles survived the cull. Titles that failed to make the grade include Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Identity and 2K Games’ NBA 2K20.
Apple had previously warned developers that all iOS releases would require up-to-date licenses, including an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) officially obtained from China’s National Press and Publication Association. Apple had been removing non-compliant apps from its store since August 2020, but December 31 represented the deadline for developers to get said licenses in order, leading to Apple taking a scythe to the App Store’s inventory.