The war in Afghanistan lasted for 17 long years. The action against the Taliban involved generations of members of the US military service, becoming simultaneously a modern and a historical conflict. One of the best ways to learn about this war is Slitherine's famous strategy game Afghanistan & # 39; 11.
Unfortunately, Apple has decided to remove that title from the App Store. In an e-mail sent to Slitherine, the software and hardware giant has urged the game to portray "a specific government or another real entity like the enemy". The game has been canceled since the same day.
Apple's decision, which comes more than a year after the game went on sale for iOS devices, was a shock to its publishers.
"Historical rigor is a key key to Slitherine's DNA and Matrix Games," wrote Paulo Paglianti, Slitherine's global public relations manager, in an e-mail to Polygon. "We have never portrayed an" enemy "for his [ethnic] origin. Our [games] they are based on history and we always try to represent realistic historical situations ".
Making the decision even more incongruous is the fact that the intent of the game is not to destroy enemy forces, but to strategically support Afghan civilians. Here is Paglianti:
Afghanistan & # 39; 11 It is probably the only wargame ever produced where killing the enemy is not the main objective of the game. The real goal for the player is to enchant and help the Afghan civilian population by persuading local leaders to support the US military and reject the Taliban lords. In fact, the counter-espionage engine works just like the real-life "Hearts and Minds" military strategy: killing the enemy does not get you anywhere, while building water resources or dismantling minefields is the way to "win" every scenario and the complete campaign. In fact, the main objective of the campaign is to build a strong and independent Afghan government and leave the country with all your army.
Polygon contacted Apple for comment.
This is not the first time that Apple has decided to remove the historic war games from its showcase. In 2015, the company chose to suspend the sale of civil war games with the battle flag of the Confederate States of America. Titles like Ultimate General: Gettysburg they were finally reinstated.
Also, it is not clear why Apple chose to select a match with US forces and the Taliban. Other historic war games with real-life fighters who are still on the App Store include:
Afghanistan & # 39; 11 It is still available for other platforms, including the Windows PC via Steam.