No More Free For You! Apple Removes ‘Free’ From Free To Play Games On App Store

Score a point for South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and their recently aired "Freemium Isn't Free" episode. Sometimes it takes a raunchy cartoon to drive the point home, and whether or that played a role in Apple's decision to remove the "free" label from freemium games like Clash of Clans or not (it probably didn't), the deed is done -- supposedly free games are no longer labeled as such in the App Store.

To be clear, Apple didn't remove freemium titles like Candy Crush Soda Saga, which are still free to download and play (in a limited capacity), but instead of labeling them as "Free," the button has been replaced with "Get." The change in language addresses the fact that freemium titles aren't truly free in the long run, as most are designed to hook gamers into the gameplay before introducing arbitrary waiting periods or other game stoppages, which of course can be reduced or eliminated by way of in-app purchases (purchase more gems to get rid of the countdown timer, for example).

App Store Get

Apple's following in the footsteps of Google, which itself stopped referring to its free-to-download apps in Europe as "free" after feeling the heat from the European Commission. At the time, the Commission criticized Apple for not doing the same. Instead, Apple leaned on its "Ask to Buy" feature in iOS 8, which requires permission from a parent before a child can buy an app for make an in-app purchase.

Though the change is only required in Europe, Apple confirmed to Recode that the "free" to "get" transformation is a worldwide one. Interestingly enough, the "free" label still exists in some capacity, such as lists like the "Top Free Apps for iPad" and so forth.