"Hacking" games not allowed more on the Google Play Store?

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May 28, 2019, 11:00:39 PM via Website

Hello everyone.
We recently started developing a "hacking" game to publish on Android and IOS. If you know the game hacker experience, that's kinda how the theme was going to be.
Click a button to attempt to "hack" the target.

We created the application on google play console and updated it daily for internal testing for the developers. A few days later google play suspended the application. After seeing that there are at least 20 applications that have the word hack in it, we thought it was a mistake on their part and explained in the form and filled for reinstatement.

2 days later I got the following response:
I’ve reviewed your appeal request and found that your app still violates Google Play Policy. I’ve included details below about the specific issue with your app.
During review, we found that your app Hack (com.name.hack) violates section 4.9 of the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA):
You will not engage in any activity with Google Play, including making Your Products available via Google Play, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Google or any Authorized Provider. You may not use user information obtained via Google Play to sell or distribute Products outside of Google Play.

For example, your app currently allow users to hack, regardless of effectiveness.

I don't really feel like the support understand that this is just a game with a button to click to "hack". It does not teach hacking and it does not show any real hacking at all.

Have anyone else experienced something like this before? We are discussing to just remove the word hack from the application and just go with it and upload it again to the play store, but it does ruin the theme we was going for.

— modified on May 28, 2019, 11:01:40 PM

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May 29, 2019, 12:51:55 PM via Website

I would suggest you to build this app with a different name, but the name should have means the same as the word "Hack". If that does not solve your problem, speak to the officials and explain what are you trying to achieve with this game they might understand. One of the reason for restricting this app would be, to not influence younger generation into doing something illegal(cybercrime). Best of luck.

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May 29, 2019, 2:09:47 PM via Website

Thanks for the reply. I responded to their email explaing a bit, but got the standard mail back:

Unfortunately I'm not able to comment on your planned implementation. In our previous email, I made sure to include all the information available to me.

They could not tell me if I included the word simulator if it would work better. I don't want to try to myself to see if it works because they might suspend my account for trying one more time.

I left one last message with detailed info about the game. One last try. Don't want to bother them too much

Anyway I see your point, but we have a hard time finding a word meaning the same as hack. Also it might be harder for the age group we are aiming to find the application without "hack".
I guess we will go back to the drawing board.

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Jun 1, 2019, 6:51:15 AM via Website

Yes! you are right hacking games or apps are no longer available on Google Play Store, but If you are any game or app admin and want to keep your content live then you can keep as a 3rd party application. I am the website owner of APK website and mostly we promote 3rd party applications which are not available on Google Play Store.
If your app or game is beneficial for the public then it will popular very soon.
I will promote your app or game as well, but first, let me know your reaction.

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Jun 3, 2019, 11:14:36 AM via Website

Wow, interesting. I never thought that it can happened...

If you have some updates, please add this to your post.

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