Apple Promoting ‘Pay Once & Play’ Games on App Store
Apple has added a new section to its App Store that is highlighting paid apps with no in-app purchases. The featured section titled “Pay Once & Play” with the tag line “Great Games with No In-App Purchases” shows iOS games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This section is notable because apps with in-app purchases have been a source of constant frustrations for consumers.
A lot of debates and lawsuits have been carried out over issues regarding the use of in-app purchases within freemium apps. The term freemium refers to the apps that are free to download, but the developer may decide to offer full functionality of app through in-app purchases.
The confusion arose as these apps, which are free to download but offer added bonuses through purchases, became popular. Although this strategy helped developers and Apple earn extra revenue, consumers were not very happy about it. Apple even faced a lawsuit in which parents claimed that their children were making in-app purchases without their knowledge.
Apple was able to settle this lawsuit and gave out iTunes Store Credits and refunds to the affected consumers in order to compensate for their loss. The company also faced disputes with the United States Federal Trade Commission last year that ended in settlement.
Since then, the Californian company has been fixing its marketing strategies by making the app descriptions and App Store sections as clear as possible. Among the efforts, it changed the label of download button of freemium apps from “Free” to “Get.”
An explanation about parental controls, which can be used to disable in-app purchases in iOS, was also added to the front page of App Store last year.
Now this new “Pay Once & Play” section is showing “great games” that require you to pay just one and do not ask for purchases later during the gameplay. It contains three subsections: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games, and App Store Originals. Some of the popular games found in this section are Thomas Was Alone, Minecraft, Threes, Leo’s Fortune, and Blek.
Apps are not so expensive but nobody likes to pay without consent. This new section in App Store will be useful for those who like to pay one up-front cost and enjoy all features of the game, just like we purchase some thing from a bricks-and-mortar market.
It is unclear whether this new section will be made permanent and updated weekly just like other sections or not. But it is welcoming as it shows Apple’s efforts in clearing the confusions about in-app purchases.