A few days ago, a mysterious application surfaced in the App Store. GameStore, which listed Apple as its developer, popped up on December 31st of last year and was available for 3 days before getting pulled.

The odd thing is that the $0.99 app didn’t really seem to do anything. Most folks have dismissed the program as an internal in-app purchase testing tool that Apple published by mistake, but there could be more to it.

Users who purchased the application have started receiving refunds from Apple along with the following message:

“You recently purchased the GameStore app. The app was made available for sale prematurely. We apologize for the problem and have refunded the purchase amount back to your account. These funds will be applied to your original payment method within 5 business days.”

While this could just be a coverup for a more embarrassing mistake, it could also suggest that Apple is about to release an independent store for video games. The idea isn’t really that farfetched when you think about it.

Apple already uses apps like the iTunes Store, iBooks store, and Newsstand to separate its content. This makes it easier to browse for and find particular items as it significantly reduces the size of the containing database. iOS has become an extremely popular mobile gaming platform. So a dedicated “Game Store” seems like a logical next-step.

Obviously this is all just speculation at this point, and Apple surely wouldn’t charge a dollar for its “Game Store,” but it’s certainly interesting. In all honestly, we would love a separate App Store for games.

How about you?

[9to5Mac]

  • Bad Idea, Fragmentation.
    Last thing we want is for iOS to turn into Andriod.
    May be its just me, but this seems like a BAD idea!

    • +1 yea I would hate to have a whole page/folder of apps JUST to purchase content. One centralized place to buy new apps/games sounds way better to me too.

  • Jobran

    i like the appstore.. i want to enter one store to check for new and worthy apps/games.. i don like to have a seprate store for different things.

  • Ruchir Raju-Deepti

    And that, sir, is an idea to kill piracy…
    If its an InApp Purchase, you can’t do piracy… I think its clever, except if the GameStore works just like the AppStore.
    And Apple IS taking piracy seriously, since it sent a legal notice to the most famous iOS App piracy website recently.

    • Henry G

      says who if it’s an in-app purchase you can’t do piracy? That is an inaccurate statement. Chances are there will always be piracy and always be peeps trying to prevent it. Cat and mouse game will prolly never end.

      • Mike Queener

        Please explain to me how you have received in-app purchase content for free? I think what Ruchir Raju-Deepti was referencing was the fact that even jailbroken devices can’t download full version apps that require being unlocked “in-app”.

      • Henry G

        google it.

      • Ruchir Raju-Deepti

        exactly, if you pirate an app, and try to buy in-app purchase LEGALLY, you cant do it. Notification pops up saying “you dont own this pp to be able to buy this in-app purchase”. try it.

      • Mike Queener

        Please explain to me how you have received in-app purchase content for free? I think what Ruchir Raju-Deepti was referencing was the fact that even jailbroken devices can’t download full version apps that require being unlocked “in-app”.

    • This doesn’t seem logical to me, the APP STORE already has the in-app purchase built in, there is NO NEED for an additional store to do this, I agree with u on the piracy front but GameStore is not the way to go….
      I repeat my Initial concern, FRAGMENTATION!!!

    • This doesn’t seem logical to me, the APP STORE already has the in-app purchase built in, there is NO NEED for an additional store to do this, I agree with u on the piracy front but GameStore is not the way to go….
      I repeat my Initial concern, FRAGMENTATION!!!

  • Anonymous

    I agree. This is a great idea! I would love a “Game Store”!

  • Just another icon for me to throw in a folder….. Books, News, Apps, Games, Utilities should all be sold in the same app. Categorization is what tabs are for…..

    • It’s just that you can’t throw newsstand in to the folder….

  • I think this looks like an shops internal purchasing system. Or a system for a physical shop to sell apps. I don’t see why it would have an SKU (barcode) section with the words biggun for scanning.

    Apple doesn’t need a separate game store, there is continuity in iTunes and the app store at the moment I don’t see why we’d need to fragment it anymore and have more apps to access the same thing..?

  • iit cold be a hacker posing as apple publishing apps for free cos it costs $99 a year to be a dev

  • I think it’s fine as it is.

  • Whats the point? you can separate the appstore anyway, there is a GAMES Category. If they really want this just add an extra tab inside the app. One thats says games and one that says applications and which ever one you click takes you to another page with the same layout you have now, such as Featured Charts etc. Would be cool to see them separated like that, but I disagree with a totally new app, I actually still don’t know why we have an iTunes app when I can access this is the music app

  • I think Apple will be adding game console functionality to their Apple TV and that the GameStore app will be the only way you can download your games.

  • Anonymous

    The App Store is fine, what Apple must focus on is improving iTunes cause God knows it’s slow as ****!