Weed Firm, a smartphone game that allows players to become virtual marijuana dealers, was pulled from the Apple App Store on Tuesday. The game, which features cops, gangsters, women, and the growing and dealing of marijuana, was released May 5 and hit the top spot on Apple's App Store, according to the Cannabist.
In the game, players take on the role of a drug dealer from seed to sale. They can grow different strains of cannabis, while clients knock on the door to buy weed. Gangsters also come knocking and need to be paid off to leave.
Developer Manitoba Games featured the disclaimer: "The creators of this game do not encourage the cultivation or use of cannabis. The plot of this game is solely a work of fiction and should be viewed only as such."
The App Store rated the game for users 17 and older for "frequent/intense alcohol, tobacco or drug use or references" and "frequent/intense mature/suggestive themes."
It was not clear why the game was initially approved and later pulled from the App Store, but Manitoba Games released a statement on its website Wednesday:
"As you might have noticed the game is no longer available on the Apple App Store. This was entirely Apple's decision, not ours. We guess the problem was that the game was just too good and got to number one in All Categories, since there are certainly a great number of weed based apps still available, as well as games promoting other so-called 'illegal activities' such as shooting people, crashing cars and throwing birds at buildings."
Apple has pulled other games in the past, including a photo sharing app over concerns of nude photos and rejected another app about female masturbation. Other cannabis-themed games, such as Ganja Farm and Weed Tycoon, currently remain available on the App Store.
Weed Firm had more than 1,000 positive reviews at the time that it was removed from the App Store. The game was also available in the Google Play market until it was also removed there. Manitoba Games said Google did not have an issue with their content, but "the problem was with our publisher and we are expecting to return to the Play Store once we find a suitable publisher."
The developer said Weed Firm may return to Apple's store after certain aspects of the game are changed:
"The Apple version might need to be censored a bit to comply with Apple's strictest requirement since they are going to be looking very attentively at what we submit from now on."
Manitoba Games and Apple did not return messages from BuzzFeed seeking comment.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
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