Apple has quietly added a new labeling system to the App Store that shows which apps have in-app purchases. You can only see whether an app or game has in-app purchases on the desktop version of iTunes, but the feature will presumably be rolled out to the App Store on iOS devices soon.
Coincidentally, Apple recently settled a lawsuit with some parents over in-app purchases. Kids were spending thousands of dollars making in-app purchases in freemium games.
After saying that the highly anticipated racing game would launch in 2012, EA and Firemonkeys have finally released Real Racing 3 in the U.S. App Store. The Real Racing franchise has been a staple part of the App Store since 2009, and the third installment was demoed onstage at Apple’s iPhone 5 event last September.
Real Racing 3 is perhaps the most visually stunning iOS game ever, and it’s free to download. However, there is one catch…
PopCap’s beloved Plants vs. Zombies has today been made available for free in the App Store. The reduction applies to both the iPhone and iPad titles, which were previously priced at $2.99 and $6.99 respectively. If you don’t already have it, it’s well worth adding to your collection.
Fieldrunners 2 is one of my favorite iOS games, hands down. Developer Subatomic Studios has taken the tower defense genere to a new level with this sequel to their popular and multi-platform game, Fieldrunners. This second game was released in July of this year, almost 4 years after the first iteration came out on iOS, then Mac.
Today, the studio announced that they’ve added in-app purchasing to the game, something many games come with from the start. Those games, however, typically come at no up-front cost. Fieldrunners 2 was released as a premium, paid game, at $2.99 for the iPhone and $7.99 for the iPad version. Why did they add this freemium-style in-app purchasing system to a game that’s already doing well as a paid app?
Remember The Simpsons: Tapped Out? It was a free iOS game from EA that launched earlier this year, but it only spent a short time in the App Store because it became so popular that EA’s servers couldn’t handle it and it was pulled. The company promised, however, that it would return, and it’s making its comeback this month.
Earlier this year, we reported on the plans by NetZero and FreedomPop to offer free 4G mobile broadband in the U.S. over ClearWire’s WiMax network. Both companies planned to operate on a freemium basis where users get a limited amount of data each month and can buy more if they choose.
This week, a company in the U.K. called Samba joined the free broadband bandwagon with a model that’s ad-based and freemium in nature, making it somewhat similar to NetZero’s original business model from the good old days of dial-up service.
Despite the success of Gears of War on consoles, it is in fact Infinity Blade for iPad which holds the title for Epic Games’s most profitable game of all time. The popular sword fighter, which has been showcased at a number of Apple keynotes over the years, has earned a whopping $30 million since its debut just 18 months ago.
2012 Mobile Game of the Year, The Dark Meadow, received a pretty major update on iOS today. Aside from all of the new features, the game has also gone freemium. The freemium version, entitled Dark Meadow: The Pact is a separate download on the App Store and as far as I can tell is exactly the same as the original paid version. The decision to go freemium may benefit the developers over the long term and is the reasoning for the jump. Although it is only available on iOS at the moment, it is scheduled to hit Android next month.
Free apps that display in-app advertising are sucking the life out of your cellphone’s battery. A team led by Abhinav Pathak, a computer boffin at Purdue University, Indiana, found that around “65%-75% of energy in free apps is spent in third-party advertising modules.”
Translation: Free apps like Angry Birds and Facebook may actually cost you more than paid apps in the end.