Pocket Gamer Court: Should developers offer in-app purchases with paid apps?

Your opinions wanted!

Pocket Gamer Court: Should developers offer in-app purchases with paid apps?

Pocket Gamer Court is now in session! Please be seated.

We're trying something new this week. Whenever a controversial issue sparks debate in the mobile gaming scene, we're going to get you - the gamers - to offer your insight and opinion on the topic.

Then, after a week or so of sourcing comments and tweets, we'll get in a right honourable judge to make a ruling. Not an actual judge, mind - more like one of the writers wearing a dress and a white wig. Anyway, he'll weigh the evidence, pick out the best arguments, and make the final decision.

To kick us off, we want to talk about "paymium" (basically, that highly contentious idea of stuffing in-app purchases into an app that you've already paid for in the first place).

Take Madfinger's gory zombie blaster Dead Trigger, for example. On iPhone and iPad, the game costs 69p to download. But, if you want bigger and better guns, you'll need to shell out more cash. During our review of the game, we discovered that you'll need to pay an extra £2.99 to get all the features.


These days, almost every game seems to dangle additional purchases in front of the player, regardless of cost.

£5 movie tie-in The Dark Knight Rises is loaded to the gills with optional purchases, for instance. Elsewhere, Rovio puts a price tag on the Danger Zone level pack in Angry Birds Space, AND charges you for space eagle tokens. In Where's My Perry?, meanwhile, you can pay to skip levels.

What do you think? Should developers be able to continue charging for things after you've paid for an app, or should you get the full experience for price of admission? Should in-app purchases be restricted to free games?

Have you ever bought an in-app purchase in a paid-for Android or iPhone app? Do you feel ripped off when you buy an app and then see a big 'Shop!' button on the main menu?

Let us know your thoughts and feelings in the comments below, or tweet them to us by popping @PocketGamer in your message. We'll deliver our ruling next week.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.