Dog Fight App Pulled After Michael Vick Speaks Up
Earlier this month, developers at Kage Games LLC released a new app for Google’s Android market that outraged dog lovers around the globe. The game, “Dog Wars,” was designed for players to raise virtual pit pulls, conditioning the dogs for entry in dog fights. Developers promoted the game with the tag lines “Raise your Dog to Beat the Best!” and “A GAME THAT WILL NEVER BE IN THE iPHONE APP STORE!!!”
Dog lovers found glorifying the cruel — and illegal — practice of dog fighting in a game appalling. Pro football player, Michael Vick, who served 18 months in prison for dog fighting, agreed. He joined the chorus demanding that Google drop the game from its Android marketplace and released the following statement through the Humane Society:
“I’ve come to learn the hard way that dog fighting is a dead-end street. Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of animal cruelty, even in an Android app.”
On the tails of objections from high-profile figures like Vick, as well as animal rights organizations, “Dog Wars” disappeared from the Android marketplace on April 26. Google has so far remained mum in response to the uproar over the game, and the official reason for its removal from the marketplace was not revealed. The game’s developers maintained that “Dog Wars” did not violate Google’s Content Policies for Android apps. However, it would not be surprising if Google determined that the game’s simulated blood fighting scenarios violated the Android term of use, which prohibits “depictions of gratuitous violence” in app content.
UPDATE: The free “Dog Wars” app has been pulled from the Android Marketplace, but the paid add-on app “Dog Bucks” is still around. For 99 cents, users can download “Dog Bucks” — and a virtual adrenaline shot — for use in the “Dog Wars” game. “Dog Bucks” is produced by Kage Games, LLC, the same developers responsible for “Dog Wars,” and the bucks app lets them keep making money off the dogfighting game. Directions for how to let Google know “Dog Bucks” is not an appropriate app, either, can be found here.