Experience with App Suspension: Game Guides?

Hello all,

I have an experience to share and I wanted to get some feedback on it as well. I had an app in the Google Play Store since November 2013. The app was titled “Pokemon XY Type Calculator”. It calculates damage for Pokemon games. The icon was a Pokeball that I found in the public domain. The app was doing fairly well recently. It had surpassed 10k downloads and the in-app advertisements have been doing better this last month. I’ve been making upwards of 3-4 dollars a day (not much, but still a small chunk).

This week I received an e-mail that my app was removed from the store. The reasoning was IP Infringement and Deceptive Behavior. My first thought was that the Pokeball icon was the issue, but Google has since responded and accepted that the icon was public domain work, but that the deceptive behavior decision would stand and my app would not be re-instated.

Now this was a huge bummer, but I don’t want to legitimately infringe on any company’s IP. I have an updated version of the app ready to be published again, but I wanted to see what others thought about this app. Here are some questions:

-Personally I think the biggest issue would be having “Pokemon” in the name of the app. I have changed the name to PokeCalculator: Generation VI. Would this avoid any “deceptive behavior”?
-Is it okay to mention that the app is intended as a tool to help one play a Pokemon game? Or should I not mentioned the game at all in the app’s description?
-I’m also developing a Mario Kart 8 Guide. Can I call it a “Mario Kart 8 Guide” at all? How should I name and describe an app like this? The app itself uses no art and is just information and some calculations to assist the player. Is this against the terms?

I’m just trying to get a better understanding of an acceptable way to publish apps that act as tools and guides for existing video games.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


I had an app which was a list of all of the Xbox one voice commands.

Got a DMCA against that one, which I was able to actually speak to someone in MS about it.

friendly chat at MS said all I had do so was change the app name from “Xbox One voice commands” to “Voice commands for Xbox One”. In that case MS dissallow any third party product to start with the same name in it’s title, but it’s not banned from being in the title.

Game guides / game related apps are not allowed. I think this is the only reason. There is no strict rule about that but they are banning them occasionally.

So there is no official rule for game guides, but Google has a history of suspending/removing them? Would you recommend I forget about it, or try to make as safe of an app as possible that helps players with calculating damage?

slugshead gave you a very good reason. Merely the same will apply to place google (play) logos - whatsoever. All of this stuff has to be used in a manner, so that the user may not believe that your game/product is related to <copyrightholder> in any way.

You should be totally free to upload game guides. But you have to be careful how to name it or how you use the trademark - you are allowed to use a trademark as “descriptive” element. This is true for everywhere on the world, but it is important to understand what that actually means (see first line of this post) - if your app is a guid to pokemon - it is a guide to a pokeman game. You are allowed to tell that, this is descriptive.

Having Pokemon in your game title - as slugshead mentioned - has to happen in a way where it is descriptive and not deceptive.

Deceptiv is: User may think your app is a pokemon app. And then you will get suspended. That’s why so much guides get suspended - no one cares about this, so they got suspended. This is nothing new, webshops for example faced those problems already a decade ago when using product descriptions and such stuff. For Example:

Docking Station for Thinkpad -> valid
Thinkpad Docking Station -> invalid

What about a platform game with a Lego theme. Could you call that for instance something like: “Platformer game for Lego” or “Platformer game Lego Edition” ?