Urgent! Need help! I have huge problem with game submission to Apple

#1

Two weeks ago, I submitted my game (created with the defold engine) to Apple for review. And got the following message:

Hello,

*Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have determined that your membership, or a membership associated with your account, has been used for dishonest or fraudulent activity. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account has been flagged for removal. *

We found that your app is in direct violation of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, which states:

"You will not, directly or indirectly, commit any act intended to interfere with the Apple Software or Services, the intent of this Agreement, or Apple’s business practices including, but not limited to, taking actions that may hinder the performance or intended use of the App Store, Custom App Distribution, or the Program (e.g., submitting fraudulent reviews of Your own Application or any third party application, choosing a name for Your Application that is substantially similar to the name of a third party application in order to create consumer confusion, or squatting on application names to prevent legitimate third party use).”

During our review, we found a pattern of manipulative or misleading behavior that violates the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. These behaviors can include, but are not limited to, inaccurate metadata describing your app or service, misleading app content, engaging in inauthentic ratings and reviews manipulation, providing misleading customer support responses, providing misleading responses in Resolution Center, engaging in misleading purchasing or bait-and-switch schemes, and other dishonest or fraudulent activity within or outside of the app.

I have filed an huge appeal to Apple with the following content (very briefly, harsh language removed :slightly_smiling_face:):

  1. Account is new!!!
  2. I didn’t violate anything
  3. Please, correct your mistake

Today I have received the following email:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting the App Review Board.

We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, Solitaire Jazz Travel.

The App Review Board has evaluated your app and determined that your Apple Developer Program account will not be terminated.

However, upon further review of this app, the following issue was discovered during our evaluation:

### Performance 2.3.1

We discovered that your app contains obfuscated code, selector mangling, or features meant to subvert the App Review process by changing this app’s concept after approval to the App Store.

The next submission of this app may require a longer review time, and this app will not be eligible for an expedited review until this issue is resolved.

About game:
1.Game made with defold
2. I used the following dependencies/assets/plugins

Game if fully completed i ready for production, but I will not be able to submit it to Apple until I figure out the above problem :frowning:

Please help me to solve this problem!
Thanks all in advance.

1 Like

#2

Hi. I’m sorry to hear of your situation.

I’m not entirely sure what Apple is referring to here. Did Apple provide any concrete examples of the problems they are referring to? Can you ask them?

Examples of topic discussing “selector mangling” here:

The problem is likely caused by a project dependency. Not sure which one though.

Are you using LiveUpdate by the way?

0 Likes

#3

I have wrote email to apple review team with technical investigation request and I’m waiting for response with details.
LiveUpdate before submitting I had’t used. ​

Hope for a quick response from the apple reviewing team

0 Likes

#4

If you are not already doing so, I’d recommend removing all trace of extensions you do not even use on iOS when bundling for iOS. As in edit your game.project, remove lines for extensions you know you are not using on iOS, and then bundling again.

The admob version can be used via this link now, I don’t know if the license version may have some obfuscated code that could get caught, don’t know if anyone else has an iOS game published using it.

https://github.com/Lerg/extension-admob

I had an iOS update approved on Feb 3rd for a game using whatever version was current then. I know for sure I didn’t use these extensions in bundle:

May not help too much but it’s info. :slight_smile:

1 Like

#5

Apple sucks.

3 Likes

#6

Another answer from Apple and zero specific information :frowning:

Hello,

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We found signs of luascript file support in the app’s bundle contents behind some form of encryption scheme. There were signs of concern for additional code downloading that we could not verify due to this implementation. To resolve this issue, please remove the obfuscated code, selector mangling, or features meant to subvert the App Review process.

Please be aware that all apps, including updates, undergo a complete review to ensure compliance with the most current version of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Best regards,
Chris
App Review Board

0 Likes

#7

Wow, yes, Defold uses Lua for game logic and the Lua scripts are “encrypted” (we don’t want them in clear text in the final application bundle). This has never been a problem in the past and there are many examples of other Defold games on the App Store. We can obviously remove the “encryption” from iOS bundles but it would require a bit of work on our part.

We do support run-time updates of code and assets through the Live Update feature. But this is not something unique. If you use a scripting language (Lua or otherwise) there is nothing stopping you from downloading and running additional scripts. I believe this is what for instance Roblox does?

This is still very generic. Selector mangling has nothing to do with Lua for instance. Why write selector mangling if it is Lua that is the problem?

0 Likes

#8

There is a sh*t-ton of other games on the App Store that uses Lua. Roblox is a prime example. Angry Birds is another.

0 Likes

#9

Also note that we’re using LuaJIT bytecode, not plain Lua source. So regardless of us encrypting the script files, the bytecode is going to be unreadable.

0 Likes

#10

Ah, yes, true.

0 Likes

#11

I can provide you with an “official letter” from the Defold Foundation, explaining our technology and the way we use Lua etc. I’ll include my contact details as well in case Apple want to connect. My experience with Apple though is that they are more robot than human and that it is almost impossible to get in touch with anyone that can do anything other than repeating pre-approved replies.

6 Likes

#12

This is true in my experience too. We have had a recent iOS game rejected multiple times for seemingly arbitrary reasons, then approved, also seemingly randomly, without comment or explanation. My advice would be to keep responding to the messages and keep uploading new builds.

4 Likes

#13

britzl, I can add you as developer to my game in itunesconnect, then you can reach support team that rejected defold game via resolution center. The second option, I have number of issue (case number) for support team. You can use it for reaching non bot person\

And thank you in advance!

2 Likes

#14

Let’s try this first. Please share the case number and contact details with me (bjorn@defold.se).

0 Likes

#15

Done!

1 Like

#16

Thanks! I’ve sent an email (you on cc) to the Apple review team, referencing your specific case. I hope they come to their senses.

8 Likes

#17

Thank you Björn, great email, hope it helps. :+1:

0 Likes

#18

Keep us updated! This looks like an overzealous reviewer to be honest. A lot of other game engines or apps that use luajit behind the scenes do those operations.

7 Likes