App Store games now allowed to use subscription fees

By Nathan Grayson
16 February 2011 05:31 GMT

That incredibly high-budget-looking game’s price tag says “free,” does it?

Wait! Don’t buy it! It’s a trap!

Apple’s officially taught the potent art of subscription-fu to all App Store developers, meaning that many games can (and probably will) start to get a lot more expensive in the coming months.

As with other in-app purchases, you sign on a subscription’s dotted line within its corresponding app – at which point it’s turned over to the same payment method you use for other app and iTunes-related spending.

There’s also this nice bit for publishers, straight from Steve Jobs himself:

“When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.”

Granted, outside subscription offers are required to be made within each app as well, so you may as well toss out your brilliant plan to beat the system with shrewd advertising.

Regardless, we know this is a brave new world full of excellent mobile games and all, but still, we can’t really think of one we’d subscribe to. Hell, we don’t particularly fancy walking the slow, nickle-and-dime-laden path to squalor for many triple-A games. Time will tell, we suppose.

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