Apple yanks first subscription based game app from the App Store

It didn’t take long, did it? According to Bloomberg, Apple has already removed the Big Fish Games title that included an in-app subscription to gain access to their entire game catalog for $6.99 per month. Upon release, there was much ado about Apple opening up the subscription model to app developers, but as it turns out, Big Fish Games is both the first and last company to offer subscription based models in their application.


Thelen said he was surprised by the move because Big Fish had worked with Apple for several weeks to ensure that it met the requirements for recurring monthly charges made through the App Store, a method most commonly used by magazines and newspaper publishers. “It was officially approved,” Thelen said. Apple had even seen the app’s press release before it went out earlier today, he said.

If true, it sounds like this may be a case of someone higher up the food-chain yanking the application. While some apps, like Netflix, work on a similar model, we can see why Apple may feel threatened by the move. Should major companies create a marketplace within their applications for their other apps, Apple’s App Store would become more confusing as a result.

The model, often deemed the Netflix Model, works for companies like Netflix, where movies don’t appear in the App Store on a singular basis; however, for games and other applications, a subscription model would essentially create a multi-level application store, potentially making it more difficult to find what you’re looking for on a search-by-search basis.

It’s something that could be addressed in the future, but as it stands, it’s a terrible idea and a nightmare for Apple. Could you imagine the number of people confused about why their games have disappeared when they opt-out of a subscription, thinking they paid for them in full?

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio