Apple Rejecting Apps That Reward Players For Video Views Or Social Media Sharing


In June, Apple started rejecting app submissions if the app rewarded the user with in game currency or unlocked parts of the game, etc.
I saw a number of rejections from client projects we were working on, and we systematically started removing the “reward” functionality from the reskins we were doing.

In Apples eyes rewarding players for watching videos, or sharing content from an app is akin to spam and/or fake reviews, and in certain cases I would agree.

From a publishers point of view (thats you, the person who owns the app), it can be a good thing to offer this functionality.

For example, a slot machine game might offer free coins for the player to use if they watch a video.  The reason the publisher might want to do that is in the hope that if the player sits through a 30 second video ad of a game, that they might actually be interested enough to click the link to install the game (and at that point the publisher gets paid for the installation).

In the case of rewarding players for sharing on Twitter, and Facebook, the publisher hopes more people find out about the game and then download it, and the cycle continues.

I for one, can see both points of view here.  Its clear something like this can easily be abused, and make for a bad player experience, but fundamentally I see nothing wrong with the process.

But, at the end of the day its Apples playground, if we want to play in there (e.g. upload apps) we need to play by their rules.

It seems now they have relaxed the rules a little about all of this, and are allowing apps in again with this type of monetisation.  I think its just another sign that Apple is keen to continue to focus on a great player experience and that it was a “warning shot” to publishers to expect more of this kind of thing in the future.

Now for some general advice about ads in games.

My number one rule in the apps business, and especially in the reskin business, is to focus on the player experience first, and foremost.

Take the time to play the source code for the game you are looking to buy and ultimately reskin.  Check out the ads, and the experience.  Is it fun to play?  Or do you find the number of ads over the top?

Chances are if you find it over the top, the average player will as well.

Make sure if there are ads that the source code has a remove ads option, and that its reasonably priced!  I’ve seen games that charge a hefty fee for removing ads.  If the cost is excessive, chances are the player is not going to pay for it, they will just delete the app and move on!

I’ll talk more about monetisation in a future article!

Thanks for reading, and as always your comments and questions are welcomed.



About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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