Friday, April 11, 2014

Skyrim Alchemy Advisor Pro has been suspended in Google Play

Yesterday we received this notification by Google:

This is a notification that your application, Skyrim Alchemy Advisor Pro, with package ID bytesinarow.skyrimalchemyadvisorpro, has been removed from the Google Play Store.
REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the spam provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the keyword spam policy help article for more information.
  • Your title and/or description attempts to impersonate or leverage another popular app without permission. Please remove all such references. Do not use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in apps descriptions, titles, or metadata.
All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and payment transaction fees) from you.
If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of your application as a new package name. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.
If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit the Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

This was our prompt reply:

 Your Notification email does not specifyl which 'popular app' my app is impersonating, so it is difficult for me to defend my position. 'Skyrim Alchemy Advisor Pro' is the ad-free version of ''Skyrim Alchemy Advisor' - which is still in the market. Both apps are mine so I guess - and I hope - I'm not being accused of copying my own app.
All icons and graphics in the app are of my property.
Being an app for Skyrim players, and referencing the game, I guess it is not a problem, as many other apps do - there are many 'Skyrim Alchemy Something' in the matket.
So I really can't tell where the problem is, but if you give me a clue, I'll try to solve it.
Thanks in advance. 


And this has been their final answer:

Hi,
We have reviewed your appeal and will not be reinstating your app. This decision is final and we will not be responding to any additional emails regarding this removal.
If your account is still in good standing and the nature of your app allows for republishing you may consider releasing a new, policy compliant version of your app to Google Play under a new package name. We are unable to comment further on the specific policy basis for this removal or provide guidance on bringing future versions of your app into policy compliance. Instead, please reference the REASON FOR REMOVAL in the initial notification email from Google Play.
Please note that additional violations may result in a suspension of your Google Play Developer account.

Regards,
The Google Play Team

So that's it. 

We feel defenceless. We still don't know why the app has been removed. It is just like free version, but without ads, and full sync feature. App description in the market was almost exactly like the ad version text, just remarking those differences.

We'll try to publish the pro version again, with different package name and with a minimal text - to minimize the risk of offence. But as we don't know where was the problem - we cannot be sure if we'll succeed. 

Being a different package, current users of the app won't be able to upgrade to future versions in Google Play. Our apologies. We'll try to solve that.

Up today, Google Play has been our first market. It is the 'official' one and for many the only one. It has given us acurate info about installs. And we have been using Google libraries and services, which are really useful. But  if all you work can be just be cancelled without a proper explanation, we will probably take a different way soon.



3 comments:

  1. Omg! Google is so google:(

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  2. Had the same problem, it's the trademark first name "Skyrim" mine was Pong, you cant use TM named as the first word of the app, you can end the app name with them i.e for Skyrim, hope it helps, hope i'm right, Google are not helpful in this kind of matter

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  3. Hi! Thanks for your comment. Not sure about it though. I have both ad and paid version called 'Skyrim Alchemy Advisor' and only one of them was suspended. And I published again the pro version with the same name - and different id - and nothing happened. I guess it was something they didn't like about the description - although very similar to the ad version text - , may be they have certain 'bad' words which trigger the removal...I think we will never know.

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