Apple helps Kickstarter project break App Store rules

Apple is pretty strict about its rules when it comes to the App Store, but it turns out that things get a little more flexible if your project happens to be crowdfunded, like say, a Kickstarter project, for instance. Macworld says that by working with Apple, the developers of Zombies, Run! managed to give away 3,000 copies of their game to early backers, as opposed to the usual limit of 50.

What's more, since the early backers had already paid for the game by backing the project on Kickstarter, Apple also didn't get their traditional 30% cut from the games sales. For all that's said about the arcane rules of the App Store, it's pretty cool that Apple is giving innovative projects a bit of a break.

How did Six to Start, the developers of Zombies, Run! manage such a feat? They talked it over with Apple before launch. Even though the App Store only lets developers generate 50 free codes for an app, Apple suggested they release two apps, according to a post on their blog. One of those apps was 'ZR Advance', a free app with the same content as the regular version of the game, but requiring a special password to activate it. From there, Six to Start just gave the password to Kickstarter backers.

Still, they're quick to note that this isn't any kind of new Apple policy. It was a one off solution they arrived at by working directly with Apple, but it's still pretty neat to see that Apple is willing to be a little bit more flexible than usual when it comes to projects like this. And who knows, with sites like Kickstarter getting more and more popular, we might see an official system for projects like this before too long.

If you're interested, you can get Zombies, Run! for $7.99 on the App Store.

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11 Comments

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rippleman said,
its their party, their rules. big deal.

I suppose that you agree that IE in WinRT is OK and FireFox/Google should keep quiet? After all, MS' party, their rules, big deal.

actually yes i do... I am 100% a supporter of "do what ever you want within the law, its your company", hence why i also hate unions and such.

nohone said,

I suppose that you agree that IE in WinRT is OK and FireFox/Google should keep quiet? After all, MS' party, their rules, big deal.

Oddly written article. Apple didn't give them more than the usual 50 promo codes. They told them to release 2 separate apps.

Xero said,
Oddly written article. Apple didn't give them more than the usual 50 promo codes. They told them to release 2 separate apps.

Sure, but Apple gave them actual support on how to circumvent their usual requirements, which is a bit more unusual than just releasing a real app plus a free 'demo' version.

THolman said,

Sure, but Apple gave them actual support on how to circumvent their usual requirements, which is a bit more unusual than just releasing a real app plus a free 'demo' version.

Apple didn't really do anything except suggest a way to get around their "arcane" rules. The developers could have come up with this themselves.

De.Bug said,

Apple didn't really do anything except suggest a way to get around their "arcane" rules. The developers could have come up with this themselves.

In which case Apple probably wouldn't have approved it, since it only worked for a select group of people and sort of bypassed their payment structure.

THolman said,

In which case Apple probably wouldn't have approved it, since it only worked for a select group of people and sort of bypassed their payment structure.

Then why do they allow apps like spotify or time magazine where you have to have a subscription to use them, right? Surely this is the same thing, no?

De.Bug said,

Then why do they allow apps like spotify or time magazine where you have to have a subscription to use them, right? Surely this is the same thing, no?

They aren't allowed to direct you to where you can get a subscription. The sub either happens thru iTunes or outside the app, period. And this is an app, not a subscription service

THolman said,

They aren't allowed to direct you to where you can get a subscription. The sub either happens thru iTunes or outside the app, period. And this is an app, not a subscription service

Ok, you're right. As you can probably tell, I'm not too fond of Apple.