The latest iPhone and iPad update breaks one of the best iPhone games ever — and there's no fix in sight

Civilization VI on iPhone and iPad
(Image credit: Aspyr / Firaxis)

One of the very best iPhone games currently available has a 2.2 star rating on the App Store, despite the game itself being very good. It’s because, recently, those who have downloaded it have suddenly found themselves unable to boot it up, and a recent pair of iOS and iPad updates are to blame.

Civilization VI is currently entirely broken on both iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 or later. If you have the latest update, you will be hit with a notification upon booting up the game, stating “AppHost initialization failed in ‘DidFinishLaunching’ Exit code: 1.” As originally reported by TouchArcade, writer Mikhail Madnani has tried launching the game "across four different iPhones and three iPads” and all seven of these devices manage to hit the same crash. 

Interestingly, port developer Aspyr (the original game is developed by Firaxis) acknowledged this problem a month ago saying “we are currently investigating reports of launch issues for Civilization VI.” In this same post, an Aspyr spokesperson said there is no ETA on when it will be resolved. Despite some players being unable to even play the game, it is technically still available for download. The game is free to play initially, though requires a full purchase to play beyond the 60th turn of the game (not very far in Civilization terms), and also makes money from DLC, which players can still buy. This includes the Leader Pass for $19.99, New Frontier Pass for $29.99, Gathering Storm for $39.99, and Rise and Fall for $29.99.

How to play Civilization VI on iPhone right now

You can technically still play the game right now and access all of your DLC if your iPhone has not been updated since March 5, the release date of iOS 17.4. The same can be said for iPad. However, you can occasionally run risks by not updating your OS, as new updates come with security fixes and more. iOS 17.4 added the option to choose your own browser choice from bootup in the EU as well as opening up EU iPhones to third-party app stores, and iMessage even got a big security upgrade. Though you can technically play the game, we’d advise just waiting for a fix later down the line. 

We have reached out to Aspyr for comment.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • Annie_M
    I've never played or even heard of this game. That said, isn't the developer responsible for updating their app so it works with the iOS/iPadOS updates?