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iTunes Connect Games Category Bug
September 1st, 2010

So The Incident 1.1 was recently released. Like 1.0, it was supposed to be listed in the Action games and Arcade games categories but at the moment, it is only appearing in the Action category. This is caused by a bug in iTunes Connect and it’s exacerbated by the inability to adjust an application’s category without submitting a new version. Here’s what’s going on.

When a developer clicks the “Add Version” button, the metadata for the application is pre-populated based on the existing metadata. Take Pocketball as an example:

iTunes Connect Metadata

The only new information on that screen that wasn’t transferred from 1.1 is the compulsory “What’s New in this Version”. Everything else is unchanged. Except for the Primary Category. That’s broken.

When “Games” is selected as the Primary Category, the developer may specify two Game subcategories. In the case of The Incident, that should have been Action and Arcade. In the case of Pocketball, it should be Puzzle and Simulation. Instead, take a closer look at what it’s gone and done:

iTunes Connect categories

One of the Games subcategories, “Simulation” has become the secondary category. This is the bug. This is what it looks like when you try to edit the metadata:

iTunes Connect editing metadata

Notice that the secondary category looks empty here and that only one games subcategory is specified. The developer can fix the issue by specifying the two games subcategory manually but changes can’t be made here once the application is Ready for Sale.

I’ve submitted a Bug Report with Apple and I’ve been trying to get this fixed for The Incident 1.1. It’s impossible to know whether it is affecting sales but it certainly can’t help.

Update: Apple fixed the bug.

  • This bug is responsible for Horror Vacui disappearing from the App Store a couple weeks ago. My second primary subcategory became the secondary category like you’ve described. Except I hadn’t released an update; hadn’t touched the app in iTunes Connect in over a year until I noticed it was missing from the App Store. Kind of disheartening when you’re working on a follow up.

  • Y’know, It wouldn’t matter so much if we were still able to switch categories without submitting a new build. What’s more disheartening is how hard it is to explain the issue to iTunes Connect Support; 3 emails later and nothing has changed. Hopefully directing them to this post will clear things up.