Apple’s App Store still banjaxed for Irish customers: no games

As an iPod Touch owner I was impatiently awaiting the launch of the iPhone 2.0 software, which allows you to download custom applications from the iTunes App Store to run on your iPod. Lots of cool stuff had been promised, including games such as Super Monkey Ball, Cro-Mag Rally, Tetris etc. Apparently half of the applications released at the launch of the App Store were games. In Ireland, however, the App Store only displays one lonely game, the less than inspiring Mr Potatohead simulator Mr. Shuffle.

A thread on Apple’s support discussions site throws out all sorts of theories, and documents users’ attempts to get answers from Apple on the problem. Some posters put it down to the general shoddiness of treatment of Irish customers (no movie rentals or TV shows from iTunes after 2 years), others to some difficulties with the Irish censors. Responses from Apple staff indicated that developers had simply decided not to release their games in Ireland for some reason. This theory was quickly discounted:

So Apple expect us to believe that every games developer in the world decided to not make their games available in Ireland? Sounds more like a default excuse to me. “We dont want to look into the problem, so we’ll just blame the developers”

Somebody even wrote to the Irish Film Censor’s to confirm that they don’t have anything to do with the matter. Somebody else emailed one of the game developers, Pangea Software, who responded as follows:

Something has been wrong with the Ireland store since Thursday because only 1 game is showing up. There should be 200 games. Apple knows about the problem, but it looks like it still isnt’ fixed yet. Hopefully they’ll have all the games up there soon.

So it’s Apple’s problem after all, but they don’t seem to be in a hurry to fix it. Tomorrow will be one week since the store went live, and I can’t imagine the fix is technically complex.

In the meantime we have to make do with Mr. Shuffle, which doesn’t look like it’s worth €2.39 to me. However, I couldn’t resist posting a sarcastic review to iTunes. It probably won’t show up, so the text is below:

The one and only

I’m a huge fan of this app because it’s quite simply the only game worth buying from the App Store if you live in Ireland. In fact, it’s the only game you can buy from the App Store if you live in Ireland. Apple quite rightly feel that we Irish need time to get to grips with the complexities of Mr. Shuffle before we can be expected to deal with the likes of Super Monkey Ball.

Update: They posted my review! They obviously don’t read these things too carefully. And the games are finally starting to trickle in: Mr. Shuffle has been joined by MotionX Poker, Platinum Solitaire, SuperPong and Bubble Bash.

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