The upcoming revitalized iOS 8 App Store will bring with it some cool innovations for app developers and its fair share of changes. One of the biggest shifts will be in the area of app discovery and app monetization. During the WWDC 2014, Apple announced new features designed to assist users in finding apps by trending keywords, via categories, and related search terms. It was revealed that developers will have an option to promote their apps in special bundles. Although all of these discovery features seem like they would be beneficial they also conflict with the tools and options that developers are currently using to monetize and promote their apps.
Recently many developers have been posting on site forums like StackOverflow and MobileDevHQ complaining about receiving app rejection notices citing violations of sections 2.25 and 3.10 of the Apple Developer Guidelines.
Listed below are the sections Apple is citing when rejecting developers with incentive based app monetization:
2.25: Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected, unless designed for a specific approved need (e.g. health management, aviation, accessibility, etc.) or to provide significant added value for a targeted group of customers.
3:10: Developers who attempt to manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews, or any other inappropriate methods will be removed from the iOS Developer Program.
Apparently, they are counting app monetization tools that display Ads that promote other games as a violation of section 2.25. Applications that offer free in-game credits for watching videos are also being flagged and associated with section 3:10. Apps that feature incentivized social sharing via Facebook or Twitter are now receiving rejection notices also. These strict guidelines are being applied to primarily new app submissions.
Apple cracking down on incentive-based monetization is definitely a sign that there are some major changes ahead in the manner in which we monetize and promote mobile games.