Apple has removed a chart-topping game that let you "become the biggest weed dealer in town" from the App Store. Manitoba Games' Weed Firm, which follows the drug-dealing career of burnout Ted Growing, is no longer available for download, in an incident that the developer says is "entirely Apple's decision, not ours."
Weed Firm occupied the top spot on the overall App Store download charts for several days before its removal, according to data from analytics firm App Annie. By its final day, its revenue had grown to become the 13th top grossing app.
Data from App Annie shows Weed Firm's strong performance over the past week.
Weed Firm's Android app is also no longer available, but Manitoba Games says that the issue is with their publisher rather than Google's stewardship of the Play store. The developer promises to return on both platforms one way or another; while it expects to have to alter Weed Firm for its App Store return, it will do all it can to keep other versions "as censorship-free as possible" within the boundaries of the highest age rating. "We do not want kids playing Weed Firm," it says, "but we firmly believe that adults should have a choice to do whatever the hell they want as long as they are not hurting anybody in the process."
If the developers' claims are true, it would suggest Apple still considers marijuana a contentious topic despite a growing wave of decriminalization across the US. But Manitoba Games notes that "there are certainly a great number of weed-based apps still available, as well as games promoting other so-called 'illegal activities' such as shooting people, crashing cars, and throwing birds at buildings."
The Verge has contacted Apple for comment.