How to distribute Kickstarter apps: Ask Apple
Republique is an upcoming iOS title that's made a lot of noise by getting funded on Kickstarter recently, to the tune of half a million dollars, but I've had one nagging question about it: How exactly are they going to distribute the app to all of their backers? The most obvious solution would be to put a password gate inside of an app, but Apple doesn't allow that. If you have to lock content in your app, then you're clearly selling it outside of the App Store, which means you're dodging Apple's 30% cut. So what's their plan? Republique hasn't yet said, only that it's still being decided.
Fortunately, however, here's the answer. The folks behind Zombies, Run! say that all they had to do to distribute an app for Kickstarter backers was ... ask. Apple agreed to let them have two versions of the app on the store -- one just for sale, and another that was free with a password gate in it. There were two limits, however: There had to be at least some content in the password-closed app, so people who just randomly came across it weren't confused. And Apple made the app developers take down any preorders once the app went live, so that Apple didn't lose any sales of its own.
Good to hear that distribution this way is possible -- there are a few other Kickstarter projects that will need to make use of a plan like this when they are released. The key, according to Six to Start, is to get in touch with Apple early, and keep that communication flowing.
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