Apple highlights freemium gaming alternatives with the App Store’s ‘Pay Once & Play’

apple and supercell partner for charity microtransactions clash of clans
Apple has added a new “Pay Once & Play” section to the iOS App Store, highlighting games that do not include any in-app purchases. The new section features some of the most popular, professionally developed games that the App Store has to offer, such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, XCOM: Enemy Within, Thomas Was Alone, Minecraft, The Banner Saga, and BioShock.

“Enjoy hours of uninterrupted fun with complete experiences spanning the App Store’s most beloved genres,” the company said in a statement announcing the section. “Packed with thrills and unforgettable moments, these powerhouse games belong in every collection.”

The new section follows naturally after 2014 when Amazon, Apple, and Google all fell under fire from multiple governmental trade organizations for problematic “freemium” app sales. Freemium apps typically replace one, upfront charge with a free initial download followed by the opportunity to make multiple, smaller in-app purchases. In games these can come in the form of new levels, stat boosts, cosmetic customization, or limited-use items. The model has allowed games like Clash of Clans, Age of War, and Candy Crush Saga to become the top-grossing apps in the store even though all three can be downloaded for free.

Apple started 2014 with a Federal Trade Commission settlement worth $32 million, for parents whose children made extensive in-app purchases without permission. The FTC filed a similar suit against Amazon later in 2014. Unlike Apple, Amazon refused to settle and instead opted to push the matter into court. The Italian Antitrust and Competition Authority began a similar investigation against Amazon, Apple, and Google in May 2014.

In response to the flurry of lawsuits and complaints, Google promised the European Union in July 2014 that it would stop labeling games with in-app purchases as “Free” in the Play Store. Apple made a similar change in November of that year, changing the “Free” label to “Get” when there are in-game charges available but no upfront cost.

Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Gaming

Where we droppin’ (presents)? Perfect ‘Fortnite’ gifts for the fans in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.
Gaming

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Deals

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…
Gaming

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.
Gaming

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.