Common Rejection Reasons on App Store
Make sure your listing’s icon matches the icon used in the build
These two icons have to be identical or very similar – otherwise, you’re risking an immediate rejection.
Don’t use the word “free” in the title, screenshots, and keywords
Describing your game as free might be tempting, but App Store reviewing folk really dislike it. In most cases your app will still rank for that keyword anyway – it’s one of these keywords that gets added to search phrases automatically.
Be wary of publishing many similar apps with only cosmetic differences
Many game development studios make money on cheap reskins of several products. This app business model was booming a few years back, although it became much more difficult to succeed at these days. App Store is actively fighting with this kind of “reskin farms”, so always try to have changes in new releases that are more than cosmetic.
Make your marketing materials child-friendly
Go easy on the gore, scantily clad women, and profanities. App Store is available for children and you should always consider that when coming up with marketing graphics and meta-data.
Provide at least some screenshots that are clearly showing app’s core functionality
When you’re planning marketing assets for a game it’s easy to go over the top with rendered scenes with a lot of added FX, or with beautiful 2D graphics drawn by your artist and sprinkled with bold captions. It all makes sense, but App Store often rejects apps that don’t have any true to life in-game screenshots. You can edit them a little, but try to represent content found in the game.
Don’t mention Android in the metadata
It’s a common practice to reuse the description between app distribution platforms.
It’s not a good idea from ASO perspective and I’d never recommend it, but still – some people do that. In that case, people sometimes forget to change the platform name in the description, and mentioning Android there is a sure way of having your release rejected!
Test your app for broken links and crashes
This one is probably obvious but always test your app extensively before releasing. Apple might reject an app that has experience-breaking bugs.
Bonus: Reasons Why Your Google Play App Might Get Rejected
Watch out for even the smallest amounts of nudity on the screenshots
Google Play is well-known to reject graphics that contain even the tiniest indecencies. No amount of cleavage is safe, even with small background characters!
Make sure you’re not using any registered trademarks in languages you’ve translated to
An acquaintance of mine once reported an interesting story of app rejection. Google Play stopped an update upload for one of his apps because of foul language in description. After a brief investigation, he found out that one of the languages the app was translated to contained the word “beach” which was mistaken by GP bots for a similarly sounding but more naughty word.
Keep your ads compliant to current policies
This is one of the most overlooked points. Make sure that your ad placements follow the rules. Your app could get rejected for improperly designed cross-promo ads, too!