Oh, You're Making Apps, So You Are Working for Apple/Google/...?

Octavi Navarro reports that (some) people think (some of) his games should be free instead of paid:

I’ve got hundreds of “this game should be free” angry reviews over the years but I find it shockinge every time. These are not evil corporation executives, but consumers (most probably underpaid workers themselves) who advocate very vocally against remunerated work.

This is terrible feedback, of course. Love and strength goes out to indies who get this.

Then Nick Lockwood chimed in:

I’ve seen several reviews for mobile apps over the years that claimed that since Apple/Google pay the developers to make apps anyway (?) they should be free for end users.

That got me thinking – my family doesn’t quite understand that I’m creating apps for e.g. Apple platforms without being an Apple employee, either.

Wolfgang Lutz:

We regularly have folks that think me and my girlfriend are working for Apple and Google because we are developing for iOS and Android and how funny this is.

Any more anecdotes like that?

Update 2024-03-12: Jesse Squires:

this is a very common misconception / misunderstanding in my experience.

Lots of folks think Apple makes every single app in the store.

Imagine that!

It reminds me of older folks who think Facebook is the entire internet, which is also a thing.

If you believe that, and the App Store is full of all kinds of stuff, this would make Apple appear generous and benevolent, like: “All the nice things they bring to us, look!” – It could also undermine critique in the public opinion. As in: “Glad we have all this Apple stuff on our iPhones. Imagine if we didn’t. How shitty would that be.” From that vantage point, critique could be reframed as complaining about raisins in a free lunch.

Update 2024-03-13: Randy Saldinger points out that Apple isn’t helping in that issue:

Even as someone who gives software away for free, I still get comments from users who take umbrage when I don’t want to add a feature they ask for, “after I paid all that money to Apple.” It’s not often stated that clearly, but the subtext is often there.

This misconception certainly isn’t helped by Apple’s framing of App Store updates at WWDC. “Apple has paid developers 70 billion dollars!” Not “developers have earned 70 billion dollars selling on the App Store.” Not “developers have earned 100 billion dollars and Apple scraped 30 billion off the top.” But “Apple has PAID developers.”