Apple has recently informed developers working on apps for the new Mac App Store that Game Centre and in-app purchases will not be supported when the store opens for Snow Leopard. The omission of these features rule out any kind of “freemium” application that we’re used to seeing for our iOS devices, and the opportunity to challenge friends at games through Apple’s own social gaming network.
A “freemium” application is one that you download and install for free, and then make purchases within the application that remove adverts or upgrade the application with such things as additional levels, more characters, in-game credit or money, additional features and lots more. Without in-app purchasing on the Mac App Store, developers aren’t given the opportunity to choose this delivery model, which has proven to be very successful on iOS.
Without Apple’s Game Centre, the games we buy and download on our Mac won’t benefit from things like leaderboards, achievements, and match-making that iOS gamers have come to love. I’m sure, however, that third-party social gaming networks will happily step in and take Apple’s place when the Mac App Store first launches. Networks such as OpenFeint and Crystal were available on iOS for a long time before Game Centre.
I believe it’s safe to assume that the omission of these features is purely temporary, and that as the Mac App Store grows, they will be introduced in the near future. It’s possible, of course, that these features have been pulled from the launch in a bid to ensure the Mac App Store is ready to open before Christmas.
What will the omission of these features from the Mac App Store mean to you? Will you hold out on Mac game purchases until Game Centre is ready? Let us know in the comments!