HotS Companion Android App Suspended - Need Help

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EDIT: Latest Response from Google:
"Unfortunately, we were not able to validate your account's relationship to Heroes of the Storm with the information provided.

In order for us to process your appeal, please reply with a signed letter that Blizzard Entertainment is giving you their permission to use their content. A document in PDF form will be acceptable. Please be advised we will not be able to respond or reinstate your application without the above documentation."

END EDIT - Original Post below:

Hi, I am again having some issues with Google Play Support, they have once again suspended my Application. Last time was 1.5 years ago and I managed to get some help from Andanion and got it back after a few weeks.
As it stands now it is being suspended due to "Impersonation" violation. I have used the same Title and Icon for a very long time now so this suspension came as an unwanted Christmas gift.
The App is the "HotS Companion - Heroes App" (id com.app.hots.skills.talents).
This App has been around for over 2 years and was the first and biggest HotS App ever on Android serving around 150 000 HotS Players with nifty features and up to date information of HotS over the years.
Cached Link to App: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.hots.skills.talents

Their issue is "Our policy states: We don’t allow apps that use another app or entity’s brand, title, logo, or name in a manner that may result in misleading users. Don’t try to imply an endorsement or relationship with another entity where none exists."
The App description clearly states it is an unofficial App in the very beginning and it also contains the copyright information as described by your legal FAQ.
I have tried to explain this but they will have none of it.
They want "verifiable proof of permission" that I am allowed to have this App.

So if one of you could assure them either in this thread( and I will send them the link to it) or in some other way that this App is permitted to exist that would be wonderful. As it stands now no one can download the App and I can't upload updates for it so I am unable to get the latest Patch Changes into it, so some of my users are getting restless waiting for them. A quick resolution is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Hey, I have had a lot of Heroes of the Storm players that uses my App ask me why it is no longer possible to get the App and why it isn't being updated. Several times a day to be precise, especially now that Zul'jin is out. It's been suspended for over 2 weeks now.

I also had a conversation with the developer of another HotS App 'Complete HotS', he got suspended earlier for the exact same reason but he managed to get his App back by just explaining that of course we need "HotS" in the name e.t.c how else are people gonna find what App to use? I mentioned this to Google and they have just been ignoring me for the last 9 days. One would think if there was consistency in the process two very similar Apps with the same 'issue' would be treated the same way but apparently not.

It seems I might need a miracle or that I get some help from you, or probably both by the looks of it.
I use this app all the time. Especially when new heroes come out or when playing one i haven't touched in a while. I vote you help them out blizz, it benefits the whole community.
Ugh, that's rough Gnejs. I'm not really sure why you got flagged while others didn't.

The Google cache link you provided didn't work, but I did find a version on Archive.org from January 20th, 2016.

I can't provide "verifiable proof of permission" as I'm just a developer on the API team. I haven't been able to use the app or look at the screenshots, but FWIW based on the description alone it looks fine to me. It seems clear to me that you're not trying to "mislead users" or "imply an endorsement or relationship with another entity where none exists."

That said, I can make some guesses about what the reviewer might find objectionable. Note, this is all personal opinion and not meant as criticism or attack.

First, the app name ("HotS Companion - Heroes App") is a little less clear then some other apps in the same space. As far as I can tell other similar apps don't have the subtitle ("Heroes App"). Also, that subtitle may be taken as implying that this is our "heroes app."

Second, the app description is a wall of text. While you state in the second paragraph that this is an unofficial app, it's easy to miss that detail due to the lack of paragraph spacing. The unobservant reader may simply gloss over the "unofficial" part or the (large block of) legal notes.

Third, do you have an "about" page in your app? I've seen some apps provide legal info, links, or other relevant details on that kind of page. Might be worth checking out other apps to see if they're doing something like that.

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For the sake of comparison "Complete HotS" has a short, clear description and much less legal info in the footer. Were I casual user browsing the app store, I think I'd more easily understand that "Complete HotS" is a fan app.

It looks like your app and "HotS Helper" have very similar legal info, but Helper uses text styles to make it more obvious this is legal text. IMO this listing is very clear. A+, would read again. If you're be interested in text formatting for Google Play descriptions, I got this link from a quick search: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11071127/google-play-app-description-formatting.

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As a final note, have you tried filing an appeal and stating that you've tried to make it as clear as possible that your app is not affiliated with Blizzard Entertainment? Perhaps they'd be willing to explain what you need to resolve to avoid the perception of impersonation.

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Hi, thanks for the response, the link worked at the time of writing but it seems it has been purged now. The archive.org one is roughly accurate though and the Screenshots shown there are pretty much representative of the App just some minor changes in looks.

1) I'm not sure I'd agree but then again maybe people refer to HotS as "heroes", I am just used to using HotS when talking about the game. I said that I could easily change the title if that was the problem in the appeal but alas no response on that part. If the agree to let me change I will drop that part for sure!

2) I might have cleaned some of that up during the 12 months since the cache bu I agree there is a lot of text hence why I made sure it was in the very beginning.

3) I have an about section in the App which states my company as the author the App (not Blizzard :P ) as well as links to my twitter, facebook and homepage for support, all named after my own company. Even though it doesn't contain the legal info there as well it should at least be pretty clear that is not an official App since they all reference something other than battle.net or Blizzard.

If I remember correctly I added the Excerpt after Google was rejecting some of my updates to make it more clear that it is a fan App and that you generally support community created sites/apps. As stated before it is not the first time they suspend it on very similar grounds. Other than that the comparison is very similar except my feature list is longer, but we both stated being unofficial on the second sentence. I doubt most users read the full description so if the legal notice in the bottom is longer or short shouldn't really matter that much. But sure some better formatting would have improved it.

I filed an appeal the very moment it got suspended since I've had the problem before. I also asked them to clarify what was the problem and that I offered to easily change anything and specified things like title, icon etc. So if the "Heroes App" part of the App title was an issue that can be changed within minutes.
Their response was just "As much as I'd like to help, I'm not able to provide any more information or a better answer to your question." So yeah, I am very clueless to exactly what is the problem and it kinda seems they are as well. They mentioned once again that they wanted the "verifiable proof of permission" after which I created this thread.

I will try to get the Appeal reviewers have a look at the thread again and see if they respond to it. I will also propose all the changes you had feedback on as a solution to the 'issue'. If there is anything you want me to do, do not hesitate to ask!
I have been working on this App for over 2 years now and losing it is causing a huge amount of stress for me at this time.

Thanks for your response once again!
Please help bring back the app. It was very useful to me to check talent info and other data on specific heroes quickly. I've tried other apps but they have more fluff than I desire. Hots Companion was straight to the point :(
Hi, I have finally received a reply from Google and it is:
"Unfortunately, we were not able to validate your account's relationship to Heroes of the Storm with the information provided.

In order for us to process your appeal, please reply with a signed letter that Blizzard Entertainment is giving you their permission to use their content. A document in PDF form will be acceptable. Please be advised we will not be able to respond or reinstate your application without the above documentation."

So it seems they are set on getting an actual document for some reason, can you please help me with this?
I keep getting e-mails, facebook messages and/or tweets every day from my users asking what's happening. :S I had around 30 000 active users at the time of suspension so people are starting to wonder what's happening.

Thanks in advance!
This app was by far my most favorite. Please help it back, it is so helpful both in-game and out of it.
Hi,
I have a same problem with my application Athena: Compagnon Overwatch.
Is suspended, response by Google Play Store your app contains: unclear affiliation with "Overwatch.".

If you resolve your problem contact me : contact@sisoteam.com
As an avid fan of heroes of the storm, I was hugely disapointed when i discovered I couldn't install this app on my new phone.

I've also checked out all the other heroes companion apps and this one is BY FAR and AWAY the most updated, feature rich and fastest application. Basically it's the best! I also purhcased the license because it was so well maintained.

Blizzard please help out Gnejs. His app stands out and only further promotes your game.
PLEASE BLIZZARD! Help us get this app back. Is there a way we can complain to google about this?

Good Luck!!
Please help Blizz all the other apps suck :(
Please Blizz, help this guy to have his app back. He put a lot of effort into it and as a fan of both the HotS game and the Companion App, I would like to see that the company supports these initiatives as you do in other games (like D3, SC2 and WoW).
Hi Aurifex (and Andanion), it's almost been a week and I am curious if any of you have seen the last reply I made. It would be nice to see that something is happening in these trying times to grant a spark of hope to me and the users.
It does unfortunately seem like you do not get many hours a week to use in these forums. :(

Hoping for a reply soon and thanks once again! :)

[...]
I can't provide "verifiable proof of permission" as I'm just a developer on the API team.
[...]
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When talking to Andanion about 1.5 years ago there was talk about an Authorization document and I was given a e-mail to your "community representative", I tried e-mailing that in December but it seems that address has been discontinued. Since Google demand that kind of document now maybe it is easier to check with Andanion since he has previous experience with this? I understand it most likely has to be passed through legal but since this is my only contact point with you there's not many other places to go.
Good day. Please assist with this issue. This is the only app that I use. It's very helpful and gets updated regularly.
please
First post I made in Blizzard Forums :)
Please help HotS app, it is really useful.
Dear Blizzard,

I've been using this app for almost 2 years and there was never such an issue; since there was no violation past this long span, I'd like to kindly ask you to resolve this issue fast.

This app promotes your game FAR better than the competitive apps, it would be a shame should this remain buried.

Thank you for your time Blizzard,

Ookami
Just wanted to pop in and say that this is my favorite HotS app. Once it went down I've tried other HotS apps but I just don't like them, not compared to this one.
I'd love it if Blizzard could lend a hand and help... For the fans.
:)
I agree with everyone. I have been using this app since shortly after HotS was released. I tried several different apps and this one was by far the absolute best app. I have been wondering why it went missing from the app store and have been really bummed that there haven't been any updates available as a result. Please, Blizzard, help the author get this app added back to the app store.

Also, as a side note to the author, I noticed that your equivalent Overwatch app's icon has a 'C' over the Overwatch logo. Maybe doing the same on the HotS app's icon might help get it okay-ed by the app store. If all else fails, I'm sure you could try to upload as a new app by changing the name slightly (maybe as people suggested, remove the sub title and just call it "HotS Companion" or even try something like "Storm Heroes Companion" and mention HotS in the description or tags). Regardless, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that you are able to get this situation remedied asap and I look forward to continuing to use your app for many more years. Thank you for all your hard work!

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