On that $2 Monument Valley in-app purchase

Monument Valley from ustwo is one of the most beautiful, well thought-out iOS games on the market. 

Today, the developers released 8 new chapters in the Forgotten Shores expansion pack available as a $2 in-app purchase. The team has put in a great deal of work honing these new levels and bringing them up to the standard that players have come to expect. 

Monument Valley is $4 on the App Store — a bargain, despite its short length. Paying $2 for 8 new levels is also great value for money. 

Yet, as is endemic of the App Store economy, users are unhappy with the implementation of an in-app purchase, taking to the Store to leave negative, 1-star reviews. 

$6 for the quality of game ustwo are offering is a steal. Even if the game only gives you a couple of hours of fun, it is surely worth the price. 

As Jason Snell at Six Colors concisely put it

I can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m still disappointed that people think $4 bought them a lifetime subscription to Monument Valley.

Do people not realize the amount of time, effort and money that goes into developing apps? How can they be peeved at paying a few dollars for something that offers some functional or entertainment value to them?

Sadly, Jason is right — it isn't surprising at all. Apps are less tangible than physical goods and the work that goes into them is just as difficult to glean. Apple is hardly helping by offering its own software for free (do-able due to the company's huge markups on the hardware it sells). Lack of paid upgrades, lack of app previews, lack of discovery in the App Store — all of these things, since the App Store's inception, have pushed software prices to the bottom and convinced the general public that apps should be free. 

But the bottom line is, if you want good software — games or apps — now and into the future, you have to pay for it.

This post originally appeared on adamoram.net on November 12, 2014.