Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Case for Headlight Software

Here is the quote from an Apple executive explaining why most 'sexy apps' have been removed from the AppStore, while Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Playboy, Maxim, and a few others remain:

“The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format.”
(Source. Reprinted everywhere.)


Part 1: We ARE a "well-known company."
Headlight Software has been in business since 1997 (Only 2 years less than Maxim, according to Wikipedia).
GetRight® won the Shareware Industry People's Choice Award in 1999 & 2006.
GetRight has appeared on many "Best of" and "Editor's Choice" lists through the years.
GetRight has over 13,000,000 downloads from download.com alone.
FTP on the Go was featured as an Apple "iPhone Apps in Business."
FTP on the Go is on the cover of "Incredible iPhone Apps for Dummies" book.
iCatchall Tools was an Apple Staff Pick in March of 2009.
Heads Up: Hold'em won 2nd place in the "Best App Ever Awards" Casino Game of 2009.
Knife Dancing (on the date of this writing: 2/23/10) is the #1 free Simulation game, the #9 free TOP GAME, and the #15 free TOP OVERALL APP.
(EDIT: Later on 2/23/10, Knife Dancing moved up: #1 Free Simulation Games, #1 Free Arcade Games, #2 All Free Games, #3 All Free Apps.)
(EDIT: from 2/24/10 - 2/26/10 and counting, Knife Dancing has been the #1 free game, and #2 overall free App.)

All that adds up to a company that is well-known and well-regarded in the independent software developer industry.

Part 2: All the 'sexy' pictures were "previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format"
Every single photograph used in Poker vs. Girls and Poker vs. Guys is available for purchase on istockphoto.com. That is where we got them. (Our secret is out!)
Here are a some samples. (You will need to activate adult content on istockphoto--not all the pictures in the sequences shown here were used in the game.)
Opponent #2
Opponent #3
Opponent #5

In my opinion, stock-photography qualifies as "previously published." And I would say that the internet would make things "available broadly in a well-accepted format."

Thus Poker vs. Girls and Poker vs. Guys pass Apple's own criteria for continued sale in the AppStore!

Furthermore, OUR APPS WERE POKER GAMES! They were not simple gallery apps. Users could not even browse through the photographs without playing the game.

Ironically, the sexy photos were added after-the-fact in order to show off the poker game. Not the other way around. We didn't find pictures and then slap an App together in order to sell them. We made a poker game and then looked for ways to sell more copies of it. After not-too-much-thought, we arrived at the 'add sexy pictures' conclusion. (It worked, by the way. Poker vs. Girls outsold Heads Up: Hold'em while costing more and offering fewer game options.)

Parental Controls are available on iTunes, iPhones, and iPod touches. We rated these games as 17+ and we have no problems with people using their parental controls to block these apps if that is what they choose to do. However, I object to unfair treatment because my company isn't as well known as some other company.

In conclusion, there is no difference between our apps that have been banned and the ones that remain for sale in the AppStore. Except, of course, that there is no "Headlight Software Magazine" for people to subscribe to on the iPad.

Opinions expressed here are those of the author, Peter Burford, as an individual and do not in any way reflect the opinions or policies of Headlight Software, inc.

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