Maybe, these developers think that this has got to stop, so some of game developers on App Store decide to make their latest games as “FREE” but they still bundle these free apps with in-app purchases where people will need to unlock some certain add-ons inside the games with real money, which mostly are needed, in order to finish the games however.
Gameloft is one of many mobile game publishers that already took this step to string its latest games with in-app purchases, while EA Mobile also already implemented the same strategy on its pride, “The Sims Free Play”. And multiple reports said that this in-app purchase strategy has surprisingly brought much bigger downloads, which in turn, much bigger revenues for game developers than the casual paid games.
|Smurf Village by Capcom|
According to PhoneArena, the developer of this game puts some insanely expensive in-app purchases range from around $5 to $110. “Coincidently”, the users of this game, who some of them are children under age, can easily unlock some extra add-ons inside the game over and over again by using their parent’s credit card without asking permission from their parents.
So, when their parents have entered and authorized their credit cards on that game at the first time, these kids will no longer need to ask their parents anymore when they want to purchase the next add-on because it will be “automatically” authorized by that game.
This thing also happened to Niamh Bolton in UK when her 10 year old daughter ran up a bill of 1500 Euro in less than 2 hours (around $2385.60) playing Tap Pet Hotel.
Apparently, this has lead Apple of being sued by those angry parents in legal court for over-profiting from in-app charges. Luckily for the parents, Apple has solved this issue by refunding the money to them.
I think App Store should follow Google on Google Play Store with its FREE games bundled with ads (instead of in-app purchases) because it’s practically saver for users, especially parents, and still profitable for developers.
It’s just insane how intangible software application on mobile device could charge up to $1500 for only one small simple game where you could get around 10 “tangible” great quality games or more on console platforms (e.g., XBOX, XBOX 360, PS3, etc) for the same price.
Source: BBCnews via PhoneArena