Apple mysteriously bans games subscription app

An iOS app that lets you buy bundles of games for a monthly subscription has been mysteriously yanked from the App Store.

Apple has mysteriously banished a first-of-its-kind subscription iOS app, which let you access a library of games for a monthly fee, TechCrunch reports.

Historically, to get games onto your iPhone , iPad or iPod touch you had to download games individually. The new Play Instantly app from game developer Big Fish Games is different though, because once you download it, you can get your hands on "dozens" of different games when you pay $6.99 (about £4.50) per month.

Yesterday Big Fish Games told Bloomberg that Apple had approved the app, which could signal a change in the way game apps operate. But Play Instantly has now been yanked from the App Store, with Apple offering no explanation.

Big Fish Games founder Paul Thelen said he's surprised Apple pulled the app, because he worked for several weeks with the Cupertino tech giant to ensure the app met the company's requirements for recurring charges made through the App Store.

"It was officially approved," Thelen told Bloomberg, also noting that Apple had even seen the press release for the app before it was released.

Why has Apple pulled the plug? It's hard to know, but perhaps it decided at the last minute it didn't want to set a precedent for subscription-based games apps, preferring to maintain tight control over iOS gaming by making customers download (and pay for) individual apps separately.

Apple scrutinises each app on the App Store before making it available to download. By contrast, the Android Market has no such approval process, relying on user reports and reviews to police developers.

Is Apple being unreasonable? Would you use a games subscription app? Tell us in the comments below, or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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