Can I Pay My Users? How?


macrumors G3
Original poster
Nov 26, 2007
I'm making a game right now and thinking about the possibility of providing way for users to produce and share their own levels for the game.

To help incentivize people to do that, I figure I could operate an in-app marketplace where users can buy and sell their custom levels.

Would that be permissible in a game distributed on the iOS and Mac App Stores, or is there some rule that I'd be violating by having such a feature in my game?

If this is permissible, how would you recommend I do this? One possibility I considered:

I could have users buy virtual currency via IAP and then transfer that currency to whoever created the level upon the purchase of a custom level. The creator could then spend their virtual currency on other custom levels, or they could provide me with, IE, their PayPal information and I could pay them through that. Or I could mail them a check. Or could I somehow send it via direct deposit like Apple does for app developers? Obviously I'd be taking a cut of the money so I'm okay if whatever I end up doing has a small fee associated with it.

I'm just looking for other suggestions of how to do this.


May 1, 2010
One solution might be to have them submit the levels to a site where you check them for quality and then put them in a secured area of the site that requires login and charge for the download.

I'm not sure of the Apple rules, IIRC, Apple had a problem in the past with some sites that were selling subscriptions. They (Apple) wanted everything to go through Apple, the app was just a front for the site where the real value was.

Something like a news site that charges for access and has an app to access the site. The real value is not the app, it's the content.

Apple seemed to want a cut of the content.

This is like the SaaS (software as a service) where you "rent" or purchase the content.

Publishers are having a hard time getting paid for content and Apple doesn't AFAIK, have a solution for this.

IMO, Apple charges a fee (30%) for hosting the system that makes it simple and secure (including transaction fees) to offer content for sale or rent.

Having a site where people can purchase things within your app has to be allowed, otherwise WalMart, TacoBell and others couldn't have a native app to sell their products.

Shouldn't be too hard to set up a site that's basically like a WalMart where people can make purchases.

Another issue that I don't think has been addressed is Customer Loyalty. Maybe this could offer some insight: