09
Apr
wmp

Earlier this morning, something strange happened. A handful of paid Disney games – including Where's My Water?, Temple Run: Brave, and Wreck-it Ralph, among others – suddenly showed up as free in the Play Store. Naturally, stories started popping up in the Android world that a bunch of fairly popular games were suddenly available without charge for no apparent reason. Perhaps Disney decided that it was time to give some titles away – but that didn't make much sense, as the "lite" versions of most titles were still present alongside their formerly-paid counterparts.

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Turns out it was just a glitch, and the games are once again donning their original $0.99 price tags.

Disney isn't entirely sure what happened. The company told us that the price dropped, so they contacted Google and everything got sorted. No big deal. Of course, many users took advantage of the opportunity to snag some popular titles for free – there's no word on how future updates (or Play Store verification) will work in that case. If you happened to snag these freebies while they were, well, freebies, a quick jump into the Play Store should reveal how they'll be processed moving forward.

Update: Looks like the apps are showing up as "purchased" for those who grabbed them while they were free. Good for you!

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Ashish Raj

    D.A.M.N!!!! Bit too late. :(

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Guess i scored 3 games for free today,

  • Jason Banich

    Hahaha, I love the news today. "Disney apps now free!" -> "Whoops, not free!"

  • atlouiedog

    I got in on all 5 (the others being Where's My Perry? and Puffle Launch) this morning and they're listed as "purchased" just like all of my paid apps.

    • Martim Cortez de Lobão

      We too! Good thing I've got AppSales installed :D

      • Matthew Fry

        That's how I found out too! Good ole AppSales. I already owned puffle and where's my water from the 10 cent sales but I got wreck it and where's my perry. They'd have to pay me to install the Temple Run game.

      • Mikesphoneandtab

        I used the "Droid Gamers News" app.

  • Arron Bailey

    Lol I exploited this :-( only for wreck it Ralph and brave temple run

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    whoops! thanks for the games then, disney. it's ok, i've been to your parks several times so you've gotten more than enough from me to cover them

  • Timothy

    I got every single one! YESSSS!

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    Haha, really? I thought Disney was just delivering a random act of kindness, so I downloaded Temple Run Brave, Where's My Perry, and Wreck-It Ralph while they were free.

  • Duncan AY

    And I was thinking: weird, I thought developers couldn't change the price to free on Google Play Store

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      A paid app can be changed to free, but not vice versa. A free app can never become a paid app.

      • Duncan AY

        Oh lol. Didn't knew that last part. Is there actually a reason why Google doesn't allow to change a free app to a paid app? :-

        • Mike Reid

          I'm an app dev and I likely would have converted my old free app(s) to paid if I could.

          But I understand the rule and tend to agree. Users will feel "bait and switched". Some will "update" not realizing they are paying for the update (and it doesn't matter what warnings pop up, some people ALWAYS click the dialog box away as quick as they can).

          For the comment "some free games become paid": This can only happen with a new "package" eg. com.disney.newapp . The old app might steer you towards the new package by starting the Play app though.

          I'd guess a free app can add in game purchases or some subscription option though; I don't use those.

      • romain27111

        Seriously?

        I have seen some free games become paid one on the Play store.

        It's strange!

        • DCSH

          The rule of not being able to change from free to paid doesn't exist for that long... let it be a year or something like that. Maybe you're notices were before that rule took effect.

  • Joshua

    I think play store is recognising them as paid for. I downloaded Where's My Perry on my HTC One earlier and after reading this I looked it up on my Nexus 7 to download and it installed without issue, mind you, prices have returned to the others.

  • nmw407

    YAY! I managed to get all of them this morning!

  • wojtas25

    Got Puffle launch and Where is my Perry, im curious what will be with this games? $0.99 isn't big deal and i can pay for the games anyway.

  • http://www.dljordaneku.com/ Darrell Jordan

    Dang. When I first saw they said free I thought it was just movies and I didn't care about those. Wouldn't have minded the free games. :)

  • Himmat Singh

    Can't believe this was a glitch. What if Disney knowingly dropped the prices and immediately went to Google claiming an accident, and asking for the price to be returned to $0.99 (this cannot actually happen once a game goes free). In that intervening period of time, millions download the game for free and when the games' price-tags return, they are on the top of the Top Paid lists. How's that for a theory? :)

    • The_Chlero

      Google makes the changes to the prices (do not set the prices though), so this theory is not possible.

    • Mike Reid

      This is possibly a publicity stunt.

      The_Chlero: I'm an app dev and Google does NOT change the prices. I can change them in my dev console and I'm sure Google wants nothing to do with it.

      I would bet though that if I made my paid apps free, even accidentally, Google would refuse to fix my mistake.

      That said, in theory this could have been Google's fault. But that's hard to believe when it was more than one (but not all ?) paid app from one publisher.

      BTW, I'm pretty sure they won't reverse these "$0 purchases" and of course nobody can claim anyone who took advantage of this was doing anything wrong. IE this is as far removed from piracy as it gets. But that is not justification for anyone else downloading from a pirate source.

  • The_Chlero

    I did managed to "get" Wheres My Water. I just thought that it was just a promo or something. Good for me that I grabbed this nice game. I just played a bunch of the first levels but it seems that I will be enganged to this game for a while.

  • http://geniousatplay.blogspot.com/ Bikram Agarwal

    I'm wondering who now pays for this glitch though? Does Disney suck it up or does Google pay Disney for the free downloads that its glitch facilitated?

  • cooldoods

    If it's any consolation to Disney, I had previously bought 2 of those games. I did get three more free.

  • http://about.me/BenRogersWPG Ben Rogers

    Picked up Wreck It Ralph. Awesome!

  • Aman Yajurvedi

    Got Temple Run Brave, uninstalled it after one game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

    I already had "Where my" series, and thought that this could be either a choice to make the apps free, or an error by the person who manage the listing, and as I know when an app goes free it will remain free. So i did not get any....

    But it was Google fault.... so...

  • Bradley Ruiz

    Maybe google was testing something :P developers able to set free for a limited time or something like it

  • Applefanboy

    I believe Disney realised droids don't like to pay for games!

  • Guest

    whoops

  • Matthew Fry

    I see what you did there Disney... you sly dog

    And you would too, if Disqus would let me attach the picture.
    #2 in Top Paid Apps: Wreck-it Ralph
    #5 in Top Paid Apps: Temple Run: Brave
    #6 in Top Paid Apps: Where's My Water?
    #13 in Top Paid Apps: Where's My Perry?
    (puffle launch is 52, guess everyone already had that)