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Apple iOS App Store Launches 'Pay Once & Play' Category: What Does It Mean For Gamers?

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Apple has introduced a new section into its App Store that highlights games that users only have to pay for once.

Many apps these days require users to pay in order to keep playing or in order to advance further in the game, but Apple is rewarding those that don't.

The collection of games, called "Pay Once & Play" in the App Store, includes a number of fan favorites, including BioShock, Final Fantasy: Tactics, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

Many of the apps on the list are a little more expensive than the average app, but apps that follow the "freemium" model of having to pay within the app often end up costing way more than the user could have expected. Not only that, but it is nice to know that an app is done and paid for once it is first bought.

The section is broken up into three categories: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games and App Store Originals.

Games that don't have in-app purchases are certainly rare these days. Often these games require users to buy weapons beyond the most basic ones or an in-app currency in order to purchase items within the game. Users even often have to purchase abilities, without which they simply cannot make it further in the game.

The concept of freemium games and apps has largely shaken up the mobile app industry. Users are often very willing to download an app that is free or cheap without even knowing that they have to buy items within the games.

Apple highlighting apps that only require one purchase could trigger something of a resurgence of such apps. Users who are aware of the fact that they have to pay in-app often don't download that app, and would be willing to pay a little more at the start to not have to worry about that.

The implications of the move could affect the more traditional console gaming space as well. Users currently often have to pay $60 for a game, and then $30 on top of that for each downloadable add-on for the game, or what is known as DLC. If game developers adopt a "pay once" philosophy, users could get downloadable content for free, which would be great for users, while developers generate trust from customers for future purchases.

However, it is more likely that the gaming world would continue to adopt the freemium model, and the "Pay Once & Play" model would simply be a place for users who don't want to deal with freemium games.

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