Prices on Apple’s App Store can be deceiving. Many games prod players – often kids using accounts linked to their parents’ credit cards – into buying additional content that can add up in a hurry. Amid a rising consumer backlash against so-called in-app purchasing, Apple is starting to play nice. The company on Friday rolled out a new promotional page that highlights games that require only an initial purchase.
The “Pay Once and Play” page features a number of games in its library that don’t have or require any additional in-app or purchases or downloadable content. The games shown have prices ranging from $1.99 to $14.99. Some are highly recognizable, drawing from pop culture franchises such as “Star Wars.” While others, such as “Threes,” come from indie developers.
The page comes months after Apple faced scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators over the growing number of games that require in-app purchases. In November, the company changed the wording of its app store purchase buttons from “Free” to “Get” following pressure from the European Commission to stop advertising apps with in-app purchases as free. Google’s Play Store made changes to its Android Play Store in July, following several recommendations from the European regulatory body.
Apple last year reached a $32.5 million settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which required the tech firm to refund iOS users for unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children. Previously, when a parent plugged in their password to download an app, the app allowed users to make additional purchases without a password for 15 minutes.
Under the settlement, Apple changed the way iOS handles in-app purchases by warning users of the 15-minute window. The alert also offers instructions to users on how to change settings to require their password for each and every purchase made on an iOS device.