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Clarification re: Guidelines 11.4 and/ or 20.4

11-16-2010, 03:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34
Clarification re: Guidelines 11.4 and/ or 20.4

Hi, I have a fairly specific question regarding what's allowable.

Let's say I have an app where you can buy FantaBucks with real money. You can use FantaBucks for various things in the app. You can also sell your own items to other people for FantaBucks.

Let's say someone buys a sword for 5 FantaBucks, and then sells it to another player for 10 FantaBucks--could I allow them to convert those FantaBucks back into actual bucks? In other words, Apple has strict rules about how you have to take money from customers, does it have any rules about giving them money?

The applicable guidelines seem to be 11.4 and/or 20.4, but neither seem to really apply to this example directly.

Last edited by Jesse Arcadia; 11-16-2010 at 03:51 PM.
11-16-2010, 06:23 PM
As far as I understand - no

There is a notion somewhere in the guidelines that all monetary operations need to be handled via In-App Purchases. And since they work only one way - what you're asking about is not possible

Of course you can give money outside of the app, but I dont think you can really market your app that way...

11-16-2010, 06:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34
Hi Mike, thanks for your answer.

When you say "of course you can give money outside of the app," can I pursue that a little?

Just to be clear, it's your impression that it would be completely within the guidelines to:

1) collect money for FantaBucks through IAP
2) let players redeem FantaBucks for real money on an outside website

That would be kosher?

Do you think that would that be one of those things Apple refers to about obeying the letter but not the spirit of the rules?
11-16-2010, 07:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
if a user can earn money with your game/application then it will be likely rejected.

because if you invest money a game to gamble.. well its gamble.. and that for there are usualy very strict legal regulations.

if you have a gambling license for example you present the company "bwin"

which have legal contracts withint the countries they operate, they could make ios versions of their games and use iap for purchasing credits for their game but would need to implement their own "payout" system.

at the end if you want to be sure contact apple directly.. what people here can is only guessing.. their are the one applying the rules so just ask them
11-16-2010, 07:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34
Hi mr.Ugly, thanks for commenting.

My example isn't gambling, is it? A guy buys something at one price and then sells it at another--that's just good capitalism, right?
11-16-2010, 08:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Where dreams become reality
Posts: 258
clouds and servers

Apple will reject it and I tell you why. Already apple has been bombarded with people complaining about they brought in app purchases and lost thier data. Thier data including purchases they made like weapons,armor, and such . So there is no way Apple will be ready to move forward wit the step you want to take. If companies like glu and capcom dont get thier act together , there might not even be in app purchases in the future.
11-16-2010, 08:32 PM
Do what Japanese Pachinkos do. Redeem Fantabucks for trinkets and a separate company buys back the trinkets for actual $$$, bypassing laws forbidding gambling!

Don't actually do this btw. I'm also pretty sure it won't get approved.
11-17-2010, 03:53 AM
What I meant is something along the lines of refunds via PayPal. Some companies do this and it works

However - this is in no way approved by Apple. The whole refund process is outside of the whole AppStore

The difference is - you want to make a game that would be based on a concept of giving money for items. This would be the goal of the app and it would be written as the main part of the app description. As such - in case of approval - Apple would be responsible for any damages, unpaid money and all kinds of other problems. And I'm pretty sure they'd never agree on something like that
11-17-2010, 05:34 AM
Make items transferrable. Dont refund em. Warcraft does not allow you selling items etc, but they cant stop the all mighty e-bay.

just make sure that one player can mail some item to another player. The payments will be outside your (and apples) field of vision due to ebay. But obviously you cannot skim parts of the money involved in the transaction.

Besides you do NOT want to get involved in the transaction business. You will be eaten alive by all the problems resulting from that. The responsibility you are trying to take here is similar to the clearing and settlement tasks that banks have. This is not a simple or safe task. What when your servers crash while they have a gzillion transactions or "declarations of ownership" stored? one player transfers an item to another. The other player disconnects the phone before he recieves it, but the item has already been deducted from the first player. Will the item vanish. Has the second player paid? What when players hack the app and are able to clone items?

Seriously you do not want to do this.

Last edited by rmlinden; 11-17-2010 at 05:40 AM.
11-22-2010, 02:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34
Krehol Games, that's really good information about the state of in-app purchases. Can you share a link or something to where you got that information? Sounds like you're very keyed in.

Rmlinden, that's also extremely on-point information. Thank you! All those issues are daunting.

I guess the question I'm left with is, what would it take to meet all those challenges? Let's say I have some killer app that needs to implement those transactions, and I have an opportunity to meet with a potential investor who's a gazillionaire. How much money should I ask him for?

I know probably no one can answer that off the top of their head, but could anyone help point me in the right direction to find the answers?

Come to think of it, what if all the payments happen through PayPal? They have all that stuff covered, right?