Developers Can Now Offer Introductory Prices for Game Subscriptions on the App Store

Over the last few years, many developers have tried different pricing models for their games on the App Store. While most still go with a freemium model or a free to play one, service based games have been adopting subscriptions. We’ve even seen these in some free to play games like Angry Birds Evolution offer a subscription for premium content. Today Apple has allowed developers to set introductory pricing for auto renewable subscriptions on the App Store.

This will allow developers to allow for free trials for a short period or discounted pricing for new customers. It is going to be interesting seeing how this plays out with the various games on the store like Battle Bay and World of Tanks Blitz that do offer subscriptions. This may even open the door even further to more MMOs to jump in on the App Store since they will now be able to lower the barrier of entry and still collect revenue.

The new model will allow for one of two subscription types. The first will be a pay as you go model where new customers can pay a discounted rate for a few months before being shifted to the standard rate after. This entices users with a constant discount for a short time before hoping they stay on for full price later. The second paid model will offer a pay up front fee where users can pay a discounted rate flat fee for a fixed amount of time before renewal at full price later on. The most useful option in my opinion will be the free trial for subscribers. This will let new subscribers access the benefits of a subscription for a short duration but get charged when the trial ends.

This is another welcome change to App Store policies after the new pre-order initiative that just launched. I’m curious to see how it plays out and how the popular subscription based games adapt to this in addition to how some premium games will take advantage of this. Read more about the pricing on the Apple Developer Portal here.