Let’s face it: Freemium games and games with an inordinate number of in-app purchases are out of control on the App Store. To a certain extent, that’s understandable: Developers are hard-pressed to get anyone to download their games if they charge money for them, which means it’s all a race to the bottom. The only way to get any visibility is for developers to release their games free, then hope they can make money later.
In a refreshing move, though, Apple is trying to do something about its freemium problem, by highlighting “Pay Once & Play” games that charge players once upfront, then never bug them for more money again.
As first pointed out by MacStories, the section breaks down into three categories: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games and App Store Originals.
Games included in the section include the excellent Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Thomas Was Alone, XCOM: Enemy Within, Gunbrick, Threes!, Leo’s Fortune and many more.
The commoditization of developers’ hard work by way of the freemium business model is one of many problems facing devs who choose to release games on the iOS App Store. Personally, as much as I think it’s great that Apple has chosen to highlight developers whose games don’t constantly nag players to pay more money to win, the real problem is so endemic that I think the App Store will only ever really be able to deal with it if Apple takes a hard stand against freemium titles. But I doubt they will: There’s just too much money on the table.