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 Pinball Arcade  developer yanks season pass, citing Apple policy
Pinball Arcade developer yanks season pass, citing Apple policy
February 14, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

Farsight Studios has cancelled its season passes for the third season of its game Pinball Arcade across all platforms, allegedly because this is in violation of Apple's policies.

The newsletter it sent to its fans today included this short paragraph, headed "Season Three Pass Removal":

"Most of you are aware that Apple has denied us the ability to sell the Season Pass subscription before the Season has fully been released. We have come to the the decision that we will be removing the Season Three Pass from all platforms to preserve consistency of purchasing options. Nothing will change for those that already purchased the Season Three Pass, you will be entitled to the tables just as you were before."

While none of Apple's policies for in-app purchases seem to suggest a "season pass" type option, there is no immediately obvious specific prohibition against one, either. Notably, Telltale Games sells an in-app purchase pass for its ongoing adventure series The Wolf Among Us.

Gamasutra has reached out both to Farsight Studios and to Apple for clarification of what policies might be in violation in the case of Pinball Arcade and will update this story with any information if it is forthcoming.

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John Flush
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Speaking of Telltale Games, how is this different than the Season pass for the Walking Dead Season 2... I wonder if Apple just messed up something with this one studio...

Jindo Fox
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The difference between Farsight and Telltale? Farsight allows/encourages you to use a "Farsight login" to track scores and possibly purchases. It's a confusing mess. Telltale relies on the App Store for validation of purchases. It is clean and easy.

When Farsight used Kickstarter to crowd-fund some high profile pinball table conversions, their redemption of prizes was pretty messed up. It relied on Farsight account addresses which didn't necessarily match Kickstarter addresses. I know I'm never doing another Farsight Kickstarter as a result of that experience. In my opinion, it is much better to be able to simply buy a finished product. Farsight does good work and I've bought all the seasons on Apple and other platforms, but their execution for payment systems isn't as good as their pinball emulation.

Apple only allows a limited number of promo codes, which is probably why Farsight attempted that redemption method. I would not be surprised if Apple's position here was to preserve their store's reputation as well as revenue potential.

There's no story here, not really. The tables are still available for sale and all parties are still able to profit from the store.