Is this glorified fishing…? In-Game $9.00 Weekly Subscriptions 🤔

We all “need” money in order to live, and as much as you may want to believe that developers can magically code food into existence, the sad truth is, they need to eat just as much as you do. I’m sorry to break it to you, but “most” developers aren’t actually wizards… 🧙‍♂️

In general, we think that making money isn’t a bad thing. Developers should be rewarded for the hard work they do – otherwise what would be the point of developing cool games in the first place?

Up until this point, most developers had 2 main options when publishing their games on the Apple App Store and/or Google Play.

  1. Release it as a Paid App
  2. Release it as a Free App + Ads + IAP (In-App-Purchases)

Now there is a 3rd option that “could” change everything for both players and developers, and if you’ve downloaded any new games recently, you probably already know what we are talking about. Yes, we are talking about the lovely AU$9.00 weekly subscriptions you are constantly prompted to sign-up for…

PolyMatter made an awesome video illustrating why monthly and/or weekly subscriptions can be awesome, but with the current way things are going, it probably won’t be long before subscriptions begin destroying the very purpose they were meant to serve…

Have you heard about young children accidentally purchasing items on a device connected to “someone’s credit card” and accidentally(?) spending thousands of dollars on virtual in-game items?

Although there are now many more safety precautions built in to help prevent situations like this from occurring, it is still pretty easy to accidentally buy something, especially when that something says:

For the first 3-days, then $9.00/week


Whether you think the casual game you are playing is worth AU$9.00 a week is totally up to you, but showing this pop-up to small children who have been strongly instructed not to tap on anything unless it says “free” seems like a bit of a dirty tactic.

Consider this for a moment. If someone’s kid accidentally signs up for a AU$9.00 weekly subscription which is left active for a year before being discovered, that equates to AU$9.00 x 52 = AU$468.00 ⁉😱😱

That is almost enough to buy a brand new Nintendo Switch (AU$399.00) + The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (AU$72.00) which is “probably” going to be more fun than the casual game you are playing on your smartphone.

If this was only being used by spammy developers, we probably wouldn’t have written an article about it, but a surprising number of reputable developers, studios, and publishers have actually started using these tactics which doesn’t seem right to us…

Subscriptions are great. They allow developers to continue developing and improving their product, which is exactly what we want as players! We just wish it was done elegantly… 

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