Google has announced that it will begin displaying the price ranges of in-app purchases beginning September 30, 2014. For many mobile app users, this is a bit of good news since they’ll be able to gauge the type of money they’ll have to spend once they start using the app. Parents, in particular, will find the price disclosure useful as it’ll help them to lock down or avoid certain money hungry kids apps. Nothing makes parents blood boil more than their kids ‘mistakenly’ making in-app purchases that can run into the thousands of dollars.
Many developers follow a freemium model, which is highly effective if the app offers useful and interesting functions and features. This is especially true for mobile games. For instance, EA’s Real Racing 3 is an extremely refined racing game with amazing visuals, but for players to progress through the game quickly they’ll have to cough up some money to invest in upgrades for their cars. A coin/virtual currency package can easily run gamers $20 to $100, and that’s not a small sum if you buy one or two sets.
We can’t say for sure how the new price transparency feature will affect developers, but what we can say is that people won’t be blindsided by a $100 charge on their credit card. In other words, app users will know ahead of time what they’re getting into. Moreover, this is will also mitigate some of the unscrupulous tactics marketers and sales people use to get app users to spend a huge sum unknowingly.