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iPhone TCG to charge $9.99 for in-app purchases


Just the other day I was talking about how prices were all over the place for in-app purchases, and now here's a company that's just going all out with the microtransaction model (or macrotransaction, maybe, in this case). Urban Rivals is an online MMO trading card game, and they're going to start selling packs of the cards directly within the game. And the pricing is interesting -- you can buy one pack of three cards for 99 cents (same as the price of the game itself, though there will be a free version to play as well), or you can pick up 11 packs of those cards, 33 cards in total, for $9.99, almost ten times the price of the actual game.

This is an interesting case: the game itself already has a working model outside of the App Store, so they've already proven elsewhere that people will pay for this extra gameplay, not to mention that players of the iPhone game can play right alongside players on other platforms. And there's an interesting twist with the game's currency -- outside of the iPhone, the game lets you either win currency which you can then use to buy cards, or buy the currency with real money and then buy cards with that. But Apple has apparently said no to ingame currency being sold for real money, so instead, Urban Rivals is selling cards during the in-app purchases, skipping the ingame currency completely.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this will actually work -- just because the game is successful outside the iPhone doesn't mean it'll work on Apple's platform. But if in-app purchases of this kind do become a big deal, we might see other developers trying to come up with ways to sell content like this -- for developers who feel that the App Store's prices are too low, they may instead be able to come up with the funds they need through sizable in-app purchases.

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