Apple Rejections and How to Respond

This article will detail how to respond to common rejection notices from Apple's App Store reviews. 

Rejection - Legal: Gaming, Gambling, and Lotteries

Your app offers real money gaming but it does not have the necessary licensing and permissions for the locations where the app is used. It is not restricted to only the locations where the app can be used.
Next Steps
To resolve this issue, please revise your app or its metadata to:
  • Restrict the locations where your app can be used

Suggested Response

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.

In accordance with Section 3, the game’s multiplayer functionality allows players to deposit money into an account for competing against other players for real prizes (where allowed by law). The deposited money is not a virtual good and cannot be used for the purchase of virtual goods.

Information:

Username: ‘Apple-tester’

Password: ‘cupertino’



 Rejection - 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

Suggested Response

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.

Rejection - 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? 

Suggested Response

(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. 


Rejection - 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 theApple Developer Program License 
Agreement <>. Continuing to violate 
theTerms & 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.

Suggested Response

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).