Tobold's Blog
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Apple against free

Gamers know that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Games cost money to make, so any game being advertised as free probably has some sort of hidden cost or other source of revenue for the developer. And as such advertising can be attacked as being misleading, distributors end up being in the crossfire. Especially distributors of mobile games, because so many of them are "free".

Apple had to settle a suit accusing them of misleading children. Afterwards they changed their app store so that the button to acquire a new "free" game now says "Get" instead of "Free". And recently they featured a new category on the front page of their app store: Pay one and play games, giving rise to some satire for that being so unusual.

Now all payment models have their advantages and their disadvantages. But I think Apple is onto something in their approach: It focuses not on eliminating "free" games, but on disclosure. I think that is a very good idea. I would very much like to know in each and every case what the secondary costs of a game are. Not only for "free" games (where that is already not so hard to find out), but also for games where only after paying $60 you find out that you'll need to shell out another pile of money for DLCs or other stuff from the item store.

Agree completely. I want to play the game itself, not the 'buy the game' game.
I really like that Apple has created this category. For a long time, game developers who wanted to list a pay-once style game on various mobile stores have had a hard time getting their sales because so many eyeballs are driven to the free and under $1 games.

Hopefully this will generate some more categories, such as games that are paid for purely by advertisements, or ones where it's advertisements until you pay a set amount and then the game is all yours.

More transparency on costs and better tools for customers to sort the games by their pricing models will both be good for the industry as a whole.
The Forbes-article was great humor! Thanks for linking it! :-)
But I think Apple is onto something in their approach

Their approach?

The one legally required of them?
Inside any legal requirement there is room for many different approaches. Where exactly does it say it the law that they have to put a "Pay Once and Play" category on their front page?
And prisoners can walk around many parts of their cell or jail - doesn't mean it's their approach to be there.
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