During the ongoing trial between Epic Games and Apple, the latter company accused Epic Games of allowing “unspeakable” titles on its store because it supports Itch.io, an indie game platform where anyone can publish their work. Some of these were previously labeled as “adult” for a variety of reasons, Itch.io added an unspeakable search tag as a cheeky response, and organizers are now hosting The Unspeakable Jam to poke further fun at Apple’s bizarre language.
With more than 60 developers already signed up, The Unspeakable Jam is open for submissions until June 12 because, in the words of its organizer, “That’s as long as this joke will be funny.” In addition to making games that presumably contain some degree of adult content, participants’ games must have a beginning and end with challenges in between. This is another jab at Apple, who used very rigid definitions for “games” during the trial.
Game jams see developers getting together for very short periods of time to make complete video games, and they sometimes lead to larger, more fully realized projects coming about later on. This is certainly a bit harder to do during a pandemic like COVID-19, but we’re hoping to see some creative results.
The “unspeakable” tag on Itch.io currently only has 42 games, and most of these don’t contain anything as morally despicable as Apple implied. However, there are a whole bunch of very adult games that don’t make use of the silly tag, so Apple’s argument isn’t entirely without merit.
Itch.io is available as a download from the Epic Games Store, and it’s also available separately via a standard web browser. Developers can submit games and set the prices, subverting traditional publishing routes as well as more-regulated stores such as Steam.