Games which offer credit for downloading other apps could be barred

Apple ‘banning apps using second-sale trick’

Apple is thought to be slamming the door on an incentive scheme where users are offered in-game credits for downloading other App Store games.

The App Store vendor is said to be removing “very high profile” games that promise in-game money as reward for downloading apps from other developers.

Apple has not publicly commented on the matter, though mobile games publication says “well-placed development sources” have confirmed that a ban is being initiated.

“Several games, some of them very high profile and previously available on the App Store, have now been rejected with the reason given that they offer virtual currency in exchange for other app downloads,” the publication said.

The publication suggested that, due to the frequency of the matter, Apple has likely making “wholesale changes” to the iOS ecosystem.

‘Download incentivisation’ is said to have become a key business opportunity to App Store developers, particularly those which struggle with the conundrum of monetising free-to-play games.

The process of in-game incentives usually involves a developer and mobile networking partner such as TapJoy or OpenFeint.

A game will draw attention to other games supported by a networking partner. “The vast majority of the freemium industry” use the model, said.

Big Time Gangsta (developed by Glu Mobile) rewards users 61 credits for buying a $4.99 app called Cleopatra’s Pyramid (developed by Game Duell).

Such credits, bought outright, would have normally cost $9.99.

It is unknown how, in this instance, both parties share the revenue gained.

Glu Mobile uses the App Store networking service Tapjoy, which previously claimed to have helped enticed 1.5 million additional downloads per day using the scheme.

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