Apple Now Promotes Games with No In-App Purchases

Apple is now openly recommending games on its iOS App Store that don’t feature in-app purchases, as the games featured on its devices face increasing scrutiny over their divisive business models.

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The App Store now displays a ‘Pay Once & Play’ banner, with advertises the likes of the excellent Threes as one of the “Great Games with No In-App Purchases.”

The Pay Once and Play section of the store features a variety of different titles that require no further payment outside of the initial transaction, with Minecraft, Thomas Was Alone and XCOM: Enemy Within also being given top priority on the store.

Freemium games have become a major point of contention for mobile gamers over the years, with last year’s Dungeon Keeper being a particularly abhorrent example of how developers have been cordoning off content and progress behind timed walls, a process which can only be shortened by injecting real cash into the game.

Even some of the most high-profile mobile games such as Clash of Clans adopt the freemium model, and though there are varying degrees of success in which the business strategy can be pulled off, many players are growing increasingly tired of this becoming the standard for the majority of mobile games.

Apple dedicating a portion of its App Store to highlighting games that only require a one-off payment will certainly encourage more developers to go this route, especially considering that this portion of the store will likely be a less heavily populated one than the free-to-play section.

It’s a big step in the right direction for iOS, and I hope that Android follows suit sooner rather than later.