How to Make a Game for the App Store (and Avoid Rejection!)
Wondering how to make a game for the App Store? Asking yourself this question means you’re on the right path! Apple’s App Store is one of the most popular app marketplaces and therefore a great place to make your app available.
However, it comes with a set of guidelines to follow in order to have your app accepted.
For building your app, Apple requires all iOS and iPadOS apps submitted to the App Store to be built with Xcode 14.1 and the iOS 16.1 SDK.
After you have created your app, you need to plan for its release and make sure it is ready to be launched publicly:
Is it optimizedfor the latest version of iOS? ➡️ Apple has an SDK for iOS and many APIs to make this easier!
Does it support all screens? ➡️ Your app must display normally whether on an iPhone 8 or 13. Plus, you shouldn’t just focus on how to make a game for iPhone only. You might want to adapt it to iPad, Mac… You should test it on different devices and address any UI issues.
Is your app working correctly? ➡️ Your app should work seamlessly with any device capabilities. Plus, don’t forget to get some feedback with beta testing!
Answer These Questions Before Submitting Your App to the App Store
To know how to make a game for the App Store, it’s essential to take a look at documentation on the App Store. Apple has a set of guidelines you need to follow before submitting your game app. It can be seen as a great resource with tips for building and optimizing your app, but it also means you have to meet a number of requirements for your app not to be rejected.
In 2020, nearly 1 million problematic new apps, and an additional nearly 1 million app updates, were rejected or removed
We recap below the main questions you need to ask yourself before submitting your app, broken down into the 5 areas from Apple guidelines.
Does your app contain upsetting or offensive content?
Does your app have any user-generated content?
Can it damage user devices? Is it likely to cause physical harm from its use?
If your target audience is children, did you design your app as such and did you submit it as part of the Kids Category?
Did you test your app in beta/trial version/demo before submitting it?
Is your app entirely functioning (no bugs), complete, and in its final version? Is it compatible with most hardware?
Does your product page description, images, metadata reflect your app truthfully?
How do you plan to monetize your app on the App Store?
Is your pricing appropriate, clear, and eventually mentioned in the description?
Do you plan any in-app purchases? If yes, are they easily recognizable?
Is it free to put a game on the App Store?
Technically, when it comes to defining a price for your app, or leaving it for free, it’s entirely up to you.
However, in order to put an app on the App Store, you have to join the Apple Developer Program.
For doing so, the annual membership is $99.
Can you consider your app to be useful, simple, with a greatdesign?
Is your app “unique”? Did you copy any other existing apps? Beware of intellectual property infringement!
Is your app hosting or containing extensions, different “sign in” options including Sign in with Apple?
If you offer a streaming game, does it meet requirements?
✅ Legal + Meeting Apple’s Terms
Kids: Do you comply with laws like COPPA and the GDPR? Make sure your kids app does not send personal or device information to third parties, nor include third-party analytics or third-party advertising. More in this guide.
Intellectual property: Does your game include content that you created or that you have a license to use?
➡️ It’s a lot of privacy requirements to meet! Apple says it in their Terms, the legal aspect of making a game app is complicated, but it’s your responsibility. In 2020, 215,000+ apps were rejected by Apple for privacy violations. Apple mentions in their guidelines they are particularly careful when it comes to gaming and take extra time for the review process as it is highly regulated.