Proceeds From Banned iPhone Game Given to Former Foxconn Employee

Jessica Weimar
February 9th, 2012

You know that you love your phone (or maybe you don’t), but do you know what it went through in production?  Not really much, because it’s a phone and it doesn’t have feelings.  The people that put it together may have not been so lucky.  It would be really awesome if we, the consumer, had a game or something to inform us of the process in which a phone is made.  Wait, we did have that game and it was called Phone Story.  Do you know what happened to that game?  The man happened to that game.

This interesting title was released for the iPhone in September and traced the seemingly innocent life of the idea of a phone into the actual creation, distribution, and eventual discontinuation of said phone.  This uplifting game starts off with Coltan mining in the Congo, continues to a Chinese factory, and then wraps up with marketing and planned discontinuation.  Although the game doesn’t list a company by name, it is clear by the website advertising the game that the factory depicted in the game is supposed to be Foxconn.  This factory, which has been notorious for its suicides and suicide attempts, makes Apple products as well as products for Microsoft and Nintendo.

Steve Jobs had commented on the suicides in 2010, saying that they were “troubling” but that the factory “is no sweatshop.”  Despite installing suicide nets, and all companies involved claiming to care, the suicide threats from employees still continues into 2012 as we reported earlier.  Phone Story, created by developer Molleindustria, was banned from the Apple app store hours after it released for a number of silly reasons.  One of the reasons was depictions of cruelty and abuse towards children, because we assume that some of the characters in the game are children.  Maybe it seems far fetched, until you hear what Molleindustria is doing with the profits from this game.

Sure the game got banned from the iPhone app store, but it is still available on the Android Market.  Molleindustria issued the following statement regarding their progress with the game:

Despite the positive reviews and the wide media coverage, the amount of money we were able to collect from sales and artist fees (the art organizations who exhibited the game) was humbling, a little more than $6000 – see details below.

Then we came across the tragic story of Tian Yu, a girl who suffered from serious injuries after trying to commit suicide by jumping from the Foxconn’s factory complex where she was working in 2010. She was 17 years old at the time.

We thought: $6000 won’t do that much to an organization but they could be significant for an individual who used to earn about $130 a month. So we made Tian Yu the recipient of our first donation.

It’s almost as if Apple cares more about their reputation than helping people.  It’s a game about smartphone development, not specifically iPhone, so why did the Android Market keep it up while the Apple app store removed it?  These are the questions.  Foxconn develops a large variety of the smartphones out there, not just iPhones.  You can play the game via the Android Market, or for the iOS users out there, online.


[Source: Kotaku]

[Image via Kotaku]



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Jessica is clearly a fan of video games, or she wouldn't be writing for this site. She attends college and like most other staff on the site, has a day job that she despises. She spends most of her free time playing games with her boyfriend.

Specialty: Survival Horror