Apple is promoting "Pay Once and Play" games as part of the company's regular refresh of featured App Store titles. "Enjoy hours of uninterrupted fun with complete experiences spanning the App Store's most beloved genres," says the blurb for the new collection. "Packed with thrills and unforgettable moments, these powerhouse games belong in every collection."
this isn't really a sign of Apple's allegiance
It's tempting to say that the promotion shows that Apple prefers pay-once titles to freemium ones, but really, this is just one of the many angles that the company has taken with its App Store collections. It doesn't really say anything about Apple's wider motivation.
The new "Pay Once and Play" promotion.
There's no doubt, of course, that Apple has had some trouble with freemium games in the past. It's dealt with lawsuits from parents whose children have racked up large bills via in-app purchase, and it's even changed the wording for free downloads from the App Store from "Free" to "Get" — presumably to avoid this sort of trouble in the future. But Apple makes a lot of money from freemium titles and there's no question that many iOS users love them — this new Featured section is just another way to re-group old and new games and get people playing (and paying). That's what matters.