Who else is shocked at the amount of money that kids can spend on in-app purchases? The amounts reported in the news over the past few years have been obscene and have seen me grabbing my phone and double checking the security settings.
That said, I’ve no doubt that my children can probably figure out how to alter my settings if they were so inclined so I make sure that I don’t purchase apps with the option to make in-app purchases in as standard.
It was a topic for hot debate when we were working with our ninja app developers who wanted to make sure that we were completely happy with our decision not to have in-app purchases before the proper storyboarding and coding began… Here is our thought process…
1.) First and foremost, we’re parents and money doesn’t grow on trees; we hate it when we think we’re paying for an inclusive service and end up having to fork out for seemingly cheap updates and features which add up, especially when you’re doing it for two or more children. Try explaining to a five year old why they can’t have something that their friends have got. Um no thank you…
2.) DiaryZapp is meant to be a positive experience. Incentives and prizes are unlocked from natural progression within the app. Pride, curiosity and positive praise to zapp more and unlock more rewards. Whinging about extra features and spending more money was not something we wanted in any way to encourage. Plus the feeling of missing out was a negative emotion that we wanted to avoid any child from feeling.
3.) Adding in-app purchases complicated the storyline. Technically speaking if we had chosen to go down the route of in-app purchases we would have had to have created two or more user experiences and storylines to offer a basic and a ‘paid for pro’ setting. This would have changed the whole ethos behind DiaryZapp – it’s meant to be a fun environment that improves literacy. Our aim was for everyone to succeed and enjoy playing with the same features, yet creating their own unique results with them.
4.) We wanted everything to be fast – quick to download and quick to start playing. We like seamless… We hate faff. Less muss more fun. So the price you pay when you buy is it for up to five zappers. Boom. Zero stress for you and for us.