Demiforce Cancels Onyx; Apple Approval Not Guaranteed

A sad note from Demiforce’s Steve Demeter, the developer behind the wildly successful Match-3 game Trism: Onyx is dead. The planned service, which Demeter had described as “the XBox Live Arcade ecosystem brought to the iPhone,” couldn’t get the go-ahead from Apple.

Quoth Demeter:

“Apple recently told us they couldn’t guarantee Onyx-enabled games would be approvable in the AppStore. They pointed us to certain areas of the terms agreement contract, but declined to elaborate further as to whether or not Onyx would comply with those guidelines. Ultimately, this presented a business risk that neither I nor my potential investors wanted to challenge.”

This totally sucks, but we can’t say we’re surprised. Onyx was planned as a free, open, end-to-end service that would allow developers to drop online scoring, achievements, leaderboards, and forums into their games. Demeter also planned to sell level packs for existing games through the Onyx system, and bridge the gap between iPhone and Android for cross-platform gaming.

That’s ambitious stuff–apparently a little too ambitious for Apple’s liking. We can understand why they wouldn’t want to open the door to indirect App Store competitors like Onyx; nor would they necessarily want such advanced community features operating away from their supervision.

Luckily, Demeter’s not out of the iPhone business. Demiforce is going back to its bread and butter–developing games. We’re looking forward to learning more about the developer’s new projects.

[from Demiforce blog]