Another big children’s IP has chosen to pursue the premium in-app-purchase route.
Apps Playground reports that Nickelodeon’s new SpongeBob SquarePants game for iPhone and iPad, which was released yesterday, includes an eye-watering 69.99 IAP.
The game relies on two forms of in-game currency – gold coins and Jellyfish Jelly. These can of course be earned in-game but can also be purchased directly in increments costing between 69p and 34.99.
The site points out hat the game does at least offer the following disclaimer upon loading: Additional cool stuff can be purchased in SpongeBob Moves In! It’ll be charged to your iTunes account. You can adjust your device setting to lock the ability to make In-App purchases!”
The app’s iTunes listing also clearly states that IAPs are included in the game.
But it’s still a risky move at a time when premium IAPs are under immense scrutiny.
A combination of high-profile media coverage for families stung by unwanted IAP charges and strategic inconsistencies across the App Store have forced the Office of Fair Trading to launch its own investigation.