You might think that with the lawsuits patent-holder Lodsys has been bringing against app developers offering certain types of in-app purchases, developers might hold off on creating apps which feature those transactions, at least until the courts weigh in. That uncertainty doesn’t seem to be fazing Microsoft any, as it looks like the company is adding an official means to implement in-app microtransactions for Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft Gamefest will give developers a chance to learn about the business of WP7 gaming, with conferences scheduled across three continents over the next two months. The company has just released a list of all the sessions it will be offering, including one where it will reveal the details of a new API for in-app purchases:
“Come learn proven approaches for dealing with some of the toughest hurdles in adding downloadable content and microtransactions to your Windows Phone games! This talk introduces the new in-game purchase API for Xbox LIVE titles on Windows Phone. We’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how the API is used in Beards & Beaks, a shipped game title. We’ll delve into a sample code framework that helps you implement game-side functionality not included in the SDK library, including the handling of file transfers, tombstoning, serialization, offline scenarios, localization, content ingestion, and fast content iteration.”
As WMPU points out, it’s not obvious from this wording if the transactions Microsoft is talking about will be under the Xbox Live umbrella, or accessible to all kinds of WP7 apps. We can’t imagine Microsoft would leave developers hanging like that, without a universal payment system, so we expect to see a similar implementation introduced for non-XBL apps, as well.