Just as when any new catchphrase or term begins to spread, some of the terms used in this book regarding the sale of apps may mean different things to different people. For example, what's the difference between a microtransaction and DLC? Or, what does a “Long Tail strategy” mean?

This same phenomenon applied when “Web 2.0” meant a great many things (and still does) to many people when it first appeared. To some, it simply meant anything that was Ajax-coded (that is, neat tricks you could put into websites without a reload). To others, it meant a new way of looking at website design as a simpler, more intuitive user experience (which is what it eventually morphed into).

Terms usually go from meaning specific things to more general definitions. To illuminate this room of indefinite floating terminology in the hopes of providing a better understanding for each term, consider the following short glossary, which, to facilitate easier understanding, is not in alphabetical order.


A microtransaction is a small purchase in terms of its effect on the game using real money. In most cases, microtransactions are by themselves not critical to your success or enjoyment of the app. But, as a whole, they can offer a few to nearly unlimited ways to customize, enhance, or accelerate your experience. Cost is also irrelevant because it ranges from low to very high.

One example of a microtransaction-based game is “Smurfs' Village” (shown in Figure 7-1), where ...

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