With the free-to-play model such a big part of the mobile gaming scene, reports indicate that Apple may begin offering offering promo codes for “in-app virtual currency,” with EA being the first among those to begin implementing and using such a service on iOS.
Previously through Apple’s guidelines for publishing and hosting games on the App Store, promo codes could only be used for full game downloads: however, with EA’s Real Racing 3, codes provided for in-game currency that can be used for purchases and other upgrades seems to have taken effect, with Apple’s guidelines having remained unchanged.
Specifically, a promo from EA lets users enter their email address and in exchange receive an iTunes promo code for ten gold in Real Racing 3. While Real Racing 3 is currently the first iOS game to take advantage of this, it is unclear at this time if this model will be used/allowed to be used by all developers, as iTunes’ developer guide specifically mentions that “promo codes don’t work for in-app purchase products, including Newsstand issues.”
Whether this specific instance is just an exclusive partnership between EA and Apple or the beginning of a whole new monitization system for Apple is unknown at this time, but stay tuned for more news to develop.