Section 3.3.1 of Apple’s new developer agreement might ban 30% of the best selling games

Apple recently made changes to the iPhone development license agreement which every developer has to agree before downloading the SDK. It has one clause which is a matter of concern for many iPhone app developers. Section 3.3.1 states:

Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Many iPhone developers were shocked by this point in the agreement because a lot of popular apps could directly be affected and may be banned. Robterrell has done some study by checking the top 10 games for iPhone and found some interesting results. He found that three games from the top 10 are in danger of being banned because of the new terms and conditions.

Those three games are:

  1. DinerDash: contains plain-text Lua scripts
  2. Angry Birds , contains plain-text Lua scripts
  3. Skee-Ball: contains the UnityEngine.dll

Apart from this, one of the most popular games for iPhone and iPod Touch, Tap Tap Revenge, which was also played by Steve Jobs himself in the presentation of iPhone OS 4, uses the code of Lua Language. Steve Jobs also stated this weekend that these technologies will be banned because they produce “sub-standard apps” and Tap Tap Revenge is also one of them. It means Steve Jobs also uses these “sub-standard apps”.

The main point is that we all want quality apps and this is for sure that discouraging developers like this will not help. Games like Zombieville USA, Star Wars Trench Run, RavenSword, and Skee-Ball are not sub-standard apps. And tools like UnityEngine.dll, Lua scripts and Monotouch help developers to create these apps with ease.

Thanks Brady!