Apple is apparently providing developers a new tool to help maintain its walled garden.

Publisher Electronic Arts is giving away free in-game currency for its mobile driving sim Real Racing 3 on iOS (as first spotted by news website 148 Apps). Fans need to simply visit EA’s promotions page and click a button. EA will email out a code that players can redeem for $2 of in-game gold.

This is one of the first examples of an App Store code that gets customers access to what is normally an in-app purchase. Before this, Apple only provided codes for full downloads of paid apps. Real Racing 3 is one of the top-50 highest-grossing games on iOS, and EA is hoping to help it capture an even bigger portion of the $16 billion mobile-gaming business. This marketing maneuver could introduce hesitant players to the benefits of spending money on the virtual currency, and that my boost Real Racing 3’s revenues.

We’ve reached out to EA and Apple to ask if this is something the companies are working together to test out, and we’ll update this post with any new information.

176 developers with 1,100 published games, 300M downloads, and $600M in annual revenue
told us what makes them the most money.

EA’s mobile apps are starting to generate significant revenue. The company reported that its smartphone and tablet games contributed $460 million to its bottom line for its fiscal 2014, which ended March 31. At the end of March, EA reported that it has 130 million monthly active players.

With the billions spent on mobile gaming in 2013 — and that number is likely to get even bigger in 2014 — EA is likely expecting that its free-gold promotion is a good way to warm up its players to the idea of spending money.

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