Google to stop advertising games with IAP as free

Seems Google will stop advertising games with in-app purchases as free, at least in the EU.

Google will stop calling games ‘free’ when they offer in-app purchases | The Verge

That will probably mean the top new lists will be populated only with free apps without IAP. If that’s the case, that is a very good time to get ranked well in the top new free lists.

This is great news for some countries where IAP and Paid apps are not yet available. For example, South Africans are not allowed to open a Google Play merchant account and we are forced to only publish free apps. It basically cuts out some competition. Some of the bigger free games (like that Bubble Witch Saga) are IAP and will now be off the list, allowing us to climb higher.

Unbelievable, just a couple weeks after Chilean developers are allowed to sell apps…

But, the important question are: what happens with the Top Free ranks? Will these ranks include apps with IAPs? If not, were would IAP´s games belong? Paid apps? Or will Google create another category?

From what I had read somewhere, this policy will be enforced before end of September. Another big changes again.

It is not yet confirmed, AFAIK, whether this will be a worldwide thing or just in the EU.

Good call I say. :slight_smile: Those in-app purchases have gotten way out of hand. Just check out the “poster boy” for problems with IAP: Super Monster Bros. :mad: It has since been pulled from the appstore, and for good reason.

Don’t get me wrong, IAPs are a great way to monitize apps, but some developes are just flat out trying to rob their users. Users need to know about this before downloading an app.

Btw a better solution would be to just show the in-app purchases on the app page in the Google Play store. If the list is too long they could show a summary “contains IAP: 4x $2, 2x $5” or something. At least on iTunes it shows the top 10 in-app purchases, which is some indication to the user.

Not a good call since:

  1. Some of us make a revenue out of IAP.
  2. Some games use IAP in a reasonable way or only for removing ads - and we will be thrown with all the others that are abusing IAP.
  3. Some of us make a revenue out of paid apps which might be thrown in the same basket as freemium games making it hard to compete.

Privately I would love if we could live from only selling paid apps. I am tired of IAP and ads which are only disrupting the gameplay (ads) or making games into different type of gambling (some IAP).

I agree wholeheartedly; using IAP’s in a reasonable way can benefit both developers and users. However, for that to work it has to be crystal clear to the end-user what kind of app they are downloading and what kind of in-app purchases it has; that is totally missing ATM.

Quite a lot of bad apples in the appmarket have lead to these ridiculous IAPs, and Apple and Google are rewarding them richly for it. It’s an issue that’s been plaguing the app stores for more than THREE years now, and Google and Apple haven’t done a whole lot to either stop it or to better inform consumers (I wonder why…).

So that’s why legislation is stepping in.

This is a nice thing. My app is free (well, except with ads), and I don’t like apps (I don’t want to point out which here), despite millions of downloads, with tons of in-app purchases, especially the game is basically unplayable if didn’t purchase anything. If it is playable without in-app purchases, that’s fine.

Nice to know, according to AppBrain statistics, Apps with In-App Billing are less than 90K, out of 1.3M in total in Google Play