Apple putting the squeeze on iPhone developers

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Varkman, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Varkman

    Varkman Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2009
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    From Kotaku:

    "...according to insiders, the phone itself might be developer friendly, but Apple is not. Apple is forcing a rather nasty contractual amendment to developers.

    Under the amendment, there's a new contract provision of a 90 day refund policy that states for every refund, developers must pay back Apple's 30 percent royalty cut. What does that mean? That means Apple reimburses 100% of the cost of the refund to the user and the developer has to pay back Apple's cut with their own pocket money. Thus, Apple is not losing anything, but the developer who only receives 70 percent of the revenue from each download has to pay back 100 percent for every single refund.

    If customers can claim refunds hassle-free (and there is a 90 day refund window) this means developers could actually face the prospect of going into debt as people download and play the game to completion and then claim a refund for whatever reason. Obviously good for consumers but not for developers.

    Word has it that Apple is forcing devs to sign the new contract by the end of this week. Those who don't will be left with no ability to upload and upgrade existing applications. This contract is apparently being put in front of major game developers who are releasing iPhone titles.​

    This sounds ridiculous! I wasn't even aware users could claim refunds?! :eek:
     
  2. synagence

    synagence Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2008
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    You can't claim refunds generally for iTunes but I have managed to get a 1-time refund for an app that blatantly mis-sold itself.

    This would potentially kill the Appstore.... 90 days for most games is plenty of time to complete the game and have it fall off your regular schedule and some people will just claim a refund if its no-questions-asked.... i know plenty of people are honest (myself included) but there are 30m users and i can imagine a lot could abuse the situation.

    I can't see this happening ... there will be a revolt from the dev's like there was with the NDA terms.
     
  3. smartguy911

    smartguy911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    Just out of curiosity. What was that App?
     
  4. don_k

    don_k Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2008
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    What? Can we refund?? I didn't know that. Anybody wants to refund Urban Tycoon or Light Riders? :p
     
  5. dashzed

    dashzed Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2009
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    I've gotten refunds for movies on iTunes that were broken or had glitches, but I've never gotten any refunds for an app.

    plus I'm kind of a hoarder, so I wouldn't even want to give it back after 90 days :D
     
  6. kohjingyu

    kohjingyu Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2009
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    Student/Developer
    Singapore
    o_O

    Then if someone refunds the app, will they be able to re-purchase it for free?
     
  7. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
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    This is bad, really BAD. People will abuse this system. *sigh* Apple is f*cking their great system. First charging for firmware updates, now penalizing devs. BS. I hope it's not true.
     
  8. Maythius

    Maythius Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
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    April Fool's Joke. WHo are these insiders? I'm sorry but business wise it is impossible Apple would be so stupid. This isn't real... Lock topic please.
     
  9. gd3

    gd3 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2009
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    I was able to return 3 apps that I bought and felt were a waste of my money; Guitarist, Dropship, and RjDj.

    I went into my iTunes account info and looked at my purchases and clicked report a problem. I used the accidental purchase option and said that each of those apps were bought without my permission. My money was refunded to me and put back on my credit card.

    I tried again recently with SlotZ and Downhill Bowling, but they wouldn't refund my money this time saying that I already had purchases refunded to me.
     
  10. oliath

    oliath Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2009
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    Yeah they probably allow a few refunds, but in your case you were clearly starting to abuse the system...

    As for this news... its utter BS if it's true but i think its a malicious rumour.

    Apple would no way be so idiotic to trash what has become such a rappidly growing platform for low cost games. This move will push away the indi devs leaving only the bigger companies. Once this happens the quality of the content will suffer massively.

    I call a lie.
     
  11. Fantasmo

    Fantasmo Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2009
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    Doesn't the Google G1 service have a refund policy?
    I'd imagine that buying, completing (or getting bored) and refunding is pretty common on that service already.
     
  12. alexhardy

    alexhardy Member

    I call a lie too, but not an implausible one.

    Apple takes its cut for all the hosting / credit card processing / content delivery services that put the app on the user's iPhone.

    If the app turns out to be a buggy piece of sh*t and the user demands a refund, that isn't Apple's fault.

    I sell software through my website, using PayPal as a payment gateway. If a user did a chargeback against me I would end up paying it, not PayPal.

    Same thing.
     
  13. InsertWittyName

    InsertWittyName Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2008
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    My updated agreement does state this is correct.

    However, I'm no lawyer.
     
  14. yourofl10

    yourofl10 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
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    Well there u have it folks.
     
  15. yourofl10

    yourofl10 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
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    Hmmmm. What will happen with promo
    Codes?? like could u get a refund for using a promo code?
    And when will this be effective?
     
  16. ezone

    ezone Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2009
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    Game Developer @ Ezone.com
    Perth, Australia
    I think we devs just need to make sure we make games that people want to keep.
     
  17. VoodooVyper

    VoodooVyper Well-Known Member

    Jan 25, 2009
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    For 90 days? There are some Xbox 360 games that I don't even play for 90 days. The App scene is all about small games that are quick to pick up and play for moments at a time. Some games are psp/ds-esque but still offer nowhere near close to 90+ days of gameplay. I think this means you'll be seeing a hell of a lot less story games and a hell of a lot more puzzle games. :(
     
  18. Carlos-Sz

    Carlos-Sz Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2008
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    This resumes pretty well how dangerous this Apple move is not only for the Developers but also for the App Store future.
     
  19. alexhardy

    alexhardy Member

    @ezone Well said.

    If a dev can't make an app/game worth a few dollars without people wanting their money back, then maybe they should throw in the towel.

    Not trying to be an apologist for Apple here, but I think people forget that Apple are a stone-cold corporation (like any other) that wants our money, not to be our bestest-buddy and provide us with endless entertainment for free.

    Apple have held up their part of the deal when they deliver the app to your phone. They don't owe the developer a thing.

    If devs aren't happy with it, perhaps they should try getting a game shipped for the PSP or Nintendo DS *coughs hahahaha good luck with that*

    As a developer myself, the app store looks like the deal of the century.
     
  20. Maythius

    Maythius Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
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    I can't believe everyone is still discussing this! You're all going to hit yourself in the head when you find out this is an April Fool's joke.
     

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