Google has removed a pro-Hong Kong demonstration game called The Revolution of Our Times from the Play Store, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal . It marks the latest Hong Kong-related app that was pulled after Apple unveiled a mass-mapped app used by protesters and Quartz's news app.
While the game has been removed, a cached version of the Play Store page is still available on Google search (at least for now). As an actual game, there doesn't seem to be too much here besides a basic text-based story about your own fairytale style that tells the story of a protester.
In a statement issued to The Wall Street Journal a Google spokesman explained that the app was removed due to a Play Store policy prohibiting "capitalizing on sensitive events such as attempts to make money from serious ongoing conflicts or tragedies through a game. “The game, though free, offered in-app purchases, anywhere from $ 0.99 to $ 14.99, according to the discontinued Play Store page. Before it was deleted, the app had been downloaded over 1,000 times, according to Google's Play Store counter.
Unlike Apple's recent app store ban on HKmap.live (a mass-mapped app that has been used by protesters during ongoing protests in the city) and Quartz's news app, Google's removal feels more in line with regular app store enforcement, although the rule leaves much room for interpretation. For example, who decides what counts "utilizing sensitive events"?
As events in Hong Kong continue to evolve, with more and more companies drawn into the conflict, expect even more eyes to be on Apple and Google as the two technology companies continue to decide which apps should or should not be allowed to remain on the front of the store.