Apple notified me this afternoon that they’ll be proactively refunding all purchases of Peace. It will probably take a few days to process.
As far as I know, this effectively never happens. When I decided to pull the app, I asked some Apple friends if this was even possible, and we all thought the same thing: iTunes billing works the way it works, period, and no special cases can be made.
One of the ways it works, which most customers don’t know, is that developers have no ability to issue refunds. I had to tell people to individually request refunds from Apple, which is not only a clunky process but also left me with the question of whether it was right to keep the remaining money from it, or what to do with it if not — a question that I don’t think has a widely agreeable “right” answer.1 (Like ad-blocking.)
Over 13,000 people were granted refunds through the regular system over the last few days, leading to some interesting AppFigures reports. But that could never cover all buyers of the app.
Today, Apple made the decision for me, in a way that I didn’t even think was possible, and I’m actually happy — or at least, as happy as someone can be who just made a lot of money on a roller coaster of surprise, guilt, and stress, then lost it all suddenly in a giant, unexpected reset that actually resolves things pretty well.
Even the simple answer of “Give it to charity!”, which a few hundred people told me to do on Twitter (between the couple thousand calling me an asshole), poses an infinitely arguable problem: which charity? ↩︎