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Thursday, May 15, 2014, 02:05 pm PT (05:05 pm ET)

Apple's App Store may soon support promo codes for in-app purchases

As part of the batch of updates on Thursday it was revealed that Apple may soon offer developers the ability to send out promotional codes for in-app purchases, a change from previous App Store policy.



Discovered by Jeff Scott of 148Apps.com, Electronic Arts is giving customers who purchase Real Racing 3 free in-app currency worth $1.99. Scott took the above screenshot showing the promotion and subsequently posted it to Twitter.

It is unclear if Apple plans to roll out the promo code feature in the near future or is merely testing compatibility with a popular App Store title. The company has yet to make an official announcement to developers, however.

Also unknown is how the system will work if and when it officially debuts. Currently, EA is sending out in-app purchase promo codes for a "Handful of Gold" via email, which contains a link that players must follow on an iOS device to redeem in-game currency. If the free game is not yet installed on the device, a pop-up will appear prompting the user to download a copy.

App makers have long been able to send out promo codes for entire apps — examples include test software and review copies for press — but Apple has never allowed the same for in-app purchases.

The possible extension of App Store promotions could be a boon for developers who want the entirety of their app reviewed or tested, not just the core experience. For example, reviewers would be able to test downloadable content or in-game extras previously available only after payment.

As for Real Racing 3, EA's promo link is still live and can be requested here.