Due to new parental controls, Amazon has decided to let developers charge higher prices for in-app purchases. “With our parental controls functionality now updated, in-app items over $20 may now be submitted via the developer portal,” the ecommerce giant explained in a email to developers. Some suggest that the higher pricing will contribute to the success of more app developers, many of whom rely on the additional revenue to turn a profit.
“Developers depend on these pricier items to make their businesses work, since only a small percentage (usually in the single digits) of their users pay in their games,” according to TechCrunch. “These so-called ‘whales’ are responsible for the bulk of a developer’s revenues.” Supporting this contention, a study earlier this year from mobile analytics company Flurry found that transactions that were more than $20 made up the majority of revenue for top-grossing games on iOS and Android.
Yet, “this business model has caused tension on Apple’s iOS platform,” TechCrunch adds. Last year, there were several reports of children running up hundreds of dollars in purchases on their iPods, iPhones or iPads.