Apple’s App Store revamp sees Pay Once games given priority

13 Feb 2015

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The new App Store features the prominent Pay Once and Play signage

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Pay Once games, which feature no in-app purchases, are now highlighted in the App Store.

Pay once and play, available in the App Store in Ireland and also the UK, features prominently at the top of the screen, featuring ‘great games’ that cost a fee to purchase but are then free from any further charges.

In-app purchases have caused Apple plenty of grief in the past 18 months, with the company falling foul of the EU on one occasion.

It’s been an ongoing evolution on the App Store, with November last year bringing the removal of ‘free’ buttons on games that cost nothing initially, but can then rack up considerable in-app purchases.

Apple was forced to replace ‘free’ with ‘get’ after coming under pressure from the European Commission over in-app purchases.

The European Commission believes the ‘free’ label is an actual misnomer, misleading consumers about the true costs of the apps involved. Often parents discover the true costs when their kids click on in-app ads and purchases, leading to hefty and unexpected credit card bills.

Elsewhere there have been reports that game developers are having to remove guns from their game profile pictures, regardless of their inclusion in game.

Orangepixel saw its game Gunslugs II rejected at first because it was unsuitable to a young audience, before appealing the decision, according to Pocketgamer. Other games, apparently, appear to have edited out their firearms on the opening screen shots.

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com