‘Clash of Clans’: Iran Bans Popular Mobile Game Over Concerns It Promotes Violence

One of the most popular mobile games in the world is no longer welcome inside Iran’s borders. The country has banned Clash of Clans because of adverse effects the game has had on its population, according to a report from TechCrunch.

The ban was issued by Iran’s Ministry of Justice, which took the recommendation from the Committee for Determining Instances of Criminal Content after it consulted with psychologists who studied the effects of the game.

Those psychologists reported to find the game was promoting violence and an increased sentiment of “tribal conflict.” According to the report, the psychologists also determined young people are addicted to the game and it has caused harm to family life.

Clash of Clans had become a near-ubiquitous title for mobile gamers in Iran; according to a report published in VentureBeat. Clash Royale —a new title from by Supercell, the same developer behind Clash of Clans —also has a considerable following in the country.

Gamers in Iran reported issues accessing Clash of Clans before the title was officially banned. The title has been removed from Cafe Bazaar, the most popular third-party app store in the country, which just began distributing the game earlier this year.

Prior to its arrival in the Iranian app store, players had to download the game through foreign app marketplaces. In-game purchases were made with gift cards, which could be purchased through the country’s black market. The localized version allowed players to purchase upgrades in game using their local currency.

Clash Royale is believed to also be at risk of being blocked in Iran, given its similarly sizable following and the fact it’s a spin off produced by the same company behind the now-banned game.

Earlier this year, Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces—it’s regulator of online activities— took steps to ban Pokémon Go over security concerns presented by the game.

Iran has long held an adversarial stance on digital services, including social networks like Facebook and Twitter and content platforms like YouTube. The country also regularly cracks down on the wider internet, often cutting off access and censoring content. About 70 percent of young Iranians use virtual private networks (VPNs) to get around the country’s blocks.

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