This article lists common rejection notices from Apple's iOS Store reviews, and how to respond to them.
Legal: Gaming, Gambling, and Lotteries
Your app offers skill-based gaming, which is not legal in all of the locations where your app is available.
In order to comply with Section 5.3.4, this app takes the following actions:
The Skillz platform on which this game is integrated powers only skill-based competitions. Skillz works with leading legal counsel who have opined on the legality of its skill-based gaming model, which includes the following steps to approve each game:
- The elimination of systematic chance by ensuring each player faces the same in-game constraints and circumstances
- Verification by a proprietary algorithm to ensure the app is game of skill. The algorithm has been validated and reviewed by the preeminent legal experts in the field of gaming and has been granted a U.S. patent. You can read more about the legality of Skillz games of skill here: https://skillz.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200620348-The-Legality-of-Skill-Gaming
- When players compete for real money in skill-gaming competitions, these competitions are geo-restricted based on a user's gps location. Only users located in countries/states/provinces where skill-based games are legal will be permitted to compete for real money. If a player doesn't provide adequate location permissions, they are also prevented from competing for real money.
- The app also includes free tournaments that do not have cash prizes, and as such, the app can be downloaded and accessed in all locations where distributed.
Because of the above geo-restrictions and the patented statistical evaluation that this app is a game of skill, this app is NOT required to provide special licensing and permissions.
You can demo the geo-restrictions in action with the following steps:
- Login with the test credentials provided below
- Access the store page by clicking the shopping cart in the bottom tray
- Make a deposit
- Enter any real-money tournament and see the location prompt confirming geo restrictions
- Password: Contact us for the apple tester credentials
In accordance with Section 5.3.4, skill-gaming competitions (powered by Skillz) are geo-restricted to players located where competing for real money in skill-based games is legal. Because the game also includes free tournaments that do not have cash prizes, the app can be accessed from anywhere, but users in prohibited jurisdictions are blocked from entering real money competitions.
Safety: User Generated Content
Your app enables the display of user-generated content but does not have the proper precautions in place.
Next Steps To resolve this issue, please revise your app to implement all of the following precautions:
- Require that users agree to terms (EULA) and these terms must make it clear that there is no tolerance for objectionable content or abusive users
- A method for filtering objectionable content
- A mechanism for users to flag objectionable content
- A mechanism for users to block abusive users
- The developer must act on objectionable content reports within 24 hours by removing the content and ejecting the user who provided the offending content
With regards to possible concerns about user-generated content, they are specifically addressed in section 7 of the TOS (Skillz Terms of Service). Skillz takes lewd profile pictures seriously and has built robust business practices to address this issue. We use a service called WebPurify to screen images and this works automatically. Skillz addresses all objectionable content within 24 hours. Players are able to report other players from within the app for any reason, and we are able to ban a user from the system or certain features as needed.
Skillz doesn't allow users to interact directly beyond submitting their score. As such, there isn't a way for users to abuse one another. If a user reports some other abusive behavior, which is essentially impossible, our CA team will remove that user within 24 hours.
Performance: App Completeness
We have started the review of your app, but we are not able to continue because we need additional information about your app.
Next Steps To help us proceed with the review of your app, please provide detailed information to the following questions. The more information you can provide upfront, the sooner we can complete your review.
- Does your app use Apple Pay functionality?
- How do users redeem cash prizes or virtual prizes once they won?
- What kind of virtual currency is given as a prize?
- How do users create account in the game?
(If your game has Apple Pay enabled) Yes, the app uses Apple Pay functionality.
Withdrawals are initiated in our app via our UI. Virtual prizes are paid out automatically. Skillz supports two in-game virtual currencies. The first, "Z" is purely a virtual currency that is paid out from events or earned by users. The second, "Ticketz", are paid out from events or earned by users. Ticketz can be redeemed for physical or virtual prizes via our UI.
Business - Payments - In-App Purchase
We noticed that your app or its metadata enables the purchase of content, services, or functionality in the app by means other than the in-app purchase API, which is not appropriate for the App Store.
Next Steps While the payment system that you have included may conduct the transaction outside of the app, if the purchasable content, functionality, or services are intended to be used in the app, they must be purchased using in-app purchase, within the app - unless it is of the type referenced in guideline 3.1.3 of the App Store Review Guidelines.
Deliberate disregard of the App Store Review Guidelines and attempts to deceive users or undermine the review process are unacceptable and is a direct violation Section 3.2(f) of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Continuing to violate the Terms & Conditions of the Apple Developer Program will result in the termination of your account, as well as any related or linked accounts, and the removal of all your associated apps from the App Store.
Our app does not allow the purchase of content, services or functionality that is appropriate for the in-app purchase API. Instead, the game allows users to deposit money into an account that they can use to compete vs other players for real cash prizes. The deposits are not a virtual good and can't be used to purchase virtual goods. These deposits do not unlock features or functionality within the app. As a result, the app does not include in-app purchase payment mechanisms, but instead uses external payment mechanisms such as credit cards, Paypal and Apple Pay.
Very respectfully, we believe this rejection is based on a mistaken interpretation of the apps’ functionality. We use the Skillz multiplayer platform to enable this behavior in the territories where it is legal (including full location-based validation of every match).