After Newspapers And Magazines, Apple Now Allows Developers To Offer Subscriptions For Games

News | Monday November 21 2011 3:19 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , , ,

, which launched along with
, can now be used for games as well. The first app to use the In-App Subscription API is Big Fish Games’ “Play Instantly!” for the iPad, which is sort of like Netflix for games. For a monthly subscription fee, users can play any game in Big Fish’s catalogue.
The subscription will initially cost $4.99 and increase to $6.99 early next year. Without subscriptions users would be limited to a playing time of 30 minutes per day.
Their catalogue includes games like Mahjong Towers, Mystery Case Files and many others, with the company promising addition of new games every week.
The app itself is nothing short of innovative, at least according to
With Big Fish’s Play Instantly!, anyone with a Wi-Fi internet connection can launch and begin playing any game in the catalog within seconds. The service is free for a limited time each day, or available as an unlimited, full-screen experience with access to all of the games in the service via a monthly subscription. As these games run in the cloud, Play Instantly! users can play games immediately with no additional download or installation process. Each player’s progress for each game is saved in the cloud, allowing them to pick up where they left off regardless of the device they are using. Players can jump into any game, exit out and later pick up where they left off on the same device they started on, or on any other supported device.
According to the founder of Big Fish, Paul Thelen, it took them a while to convince Apple to expand their In-App Subscriptions policy to games:
“It took longer than usual to be approved. They needed to be convinced there’s a reason to charge customers every month.”
, PCs,
and Android devices.
The “Play Instantly!” app, although available on the U.S. App Store (
, isn’t open to all. A section of the app’s description reads:
The exclusive first look of Play Instantly! is available to a limited number of customers. Due to a high level of interest we are currently full, but sign-up within the app and we will notify you via email as soon as we have room. 
incorporate subscriptions into their app. What do you expect?

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