Apple Sidelines Humanitarian Effort, Attracts Bad Press

Apple cancels / delays online game that would feed the hungry

By on December 22nd, 2008 08:30 GMT
A company developing the first online video game that would allow players to turn in-game winnings into food for starving people has been sanctioned by Apple, and is now faced with sidelining the release. Reportedly, Apple believes the game's name, “Glupod,” bears too much resemblance to the dubbing of its iconic portable media player, the iPod.

A press release signed Something Inc. and entitled “Humanitarian Effort Sidelined for the Holidays and Beyond by Challenge from Apple Inc,” claims that “An [sic] humanitarian effort to fight world hunger, protect endangered species, and counter global warming has been sidelined for the holidays - and beyond - because of a legal challenge filed by Apple Inc.”

Something Inc. points out that its online game was scheduled to debut on November 29, just in time for Christmas. “Instead, Glupod has been put on hold indefinitely because of Apple's claim that the use of 'pod' in the game's name violates a number of Apple trademark registrations,” the report mentions.

“In development for more than two years, Glupod is the first online video game that would allow players to turn in-game winnings into food for starving people in developing countries, help for endangered species, and to help global warming,” the company stresses. There is no mentioning of a Mac version of the game.

Not surprisingly, the report does refer to the fact that Glupod would fight poverty and help “environmental causes in the real world,” as players would be able to turn game prizes into real-life help. Apple, as many of you should know, advertises its products as highly recyclable, and almost non-toxic. The company's new line of notebooks is touted as “the world's greenest family of notebooks.” The Mac maker's website even sports a “green” section, which Apple uses to emphasize its environmental strivings.

“We're extremely disappointed Apple has chosen to take such a hard-line attitude against an effort that has the potential to do so much good,” Ioannis Tsiokos, managing director of Something Inc., the company that developed Glupod, adds. “No one's going to confuse Glupod with an iPod.” A demonstration video of the game is available just below.

Is it just us, or has Apple gone a tad too far this time? Be sure to let us know what you think.


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