Apple is updating its Mac and iTunes app stores today to change the wording of the download buttons for free apps from "Free" to "Get", presumably in an effort to avoid complaints and potential regulation over misleading free-to-play app advertising.
This may significantly affect the business of many mobile game makers, and is likely a response to the in-app purchasing regulations
the European Commission laid down earlier this year -- a direct response to widespread complaints of both children and adults spending more than they meant to on misleading free-to-play games with poorly-defined in-app purchasing schemes.
"Games advertised as 'free' should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved," was chief among the regulations laid out in the Commission's report
, and over the summer Google complied by removing the word "Free" from its "Top Free Games" and "Top Free Apps" pages in the European versions of its Google Play app stores.
However, the Commission noted in the afore-mentioned report that while Apple "proposed to address" the group's concerns it had offered "no firm commitment and no timing...for the implementation of such possible future changes."
Today's update would appear to be in line with the Commission's expectations, and the changes aren't limited to Europe -- multiple Gamasutra editors across the U.S. and the U.K. were able to access Apple's newly-updated app stores.