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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Exploitation of in-app-purchases in mobile games


Two great posts showing how some free-to-play mobile games have turned into money-extraction mechanisms. Most of the top games lists are filled with these games, which seems to be having a negative impact on the morale of game developers since the crowd seems to demand the equivalent of Las Vegas style slot machines.

There's also a well-reasoned counter-argument here. I think everybody understands that the economies of mobile games market are tricky. The real issue though is that developers become greedy and focus on extracting money. This reduces games to slot machines instead of fun, challenging, social, story-driven interactive entertainment.

I'm curious if Apple will do something about this. They had to pay over $30 million recently to refund kids IAPs. If games become too greedy and therefore create distrust between parents and apps, then the Apple brand will take a hit. They might now allow this to happen, but we'll see.