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[Guardian] European Commission to investigate "free-to-play" games/applications

post #1 of 30
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Quote:
The EC’s justice minister Viviane Reding and consumer policy commissioner Neven Mimica will lead meetings in which they will look at whether it is misleading to classify games as “free” if in-app purchases are needed to make progress.

“Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection,” said Reding. “The European Commission will expect very concrete answers from the app industry to the concerns raised by citizens and national consumer organisations.

The EC’s move comes after concerns were raised by consumer groups in Denmark, Britain, Italy and Belgium about the prevalence and cost of IAPs. Though they can be disabled on any device, they are on by default.

source

Good news biggrin.gif
post #2 of 30
EA better look out again...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/02/11/dungeon_keeper_ios_android_review_e_a_criticized_for_free_to_play_model.html
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post #3 of 30

They should be named "Free to download, pay to play"

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post #4 of 30
I miss when I bought a game for a reasonable price like 20-30 bucks and could play it to my heart's content with no more payment needed.
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis View Post

I miss when I bought a game for a reasonable price like 20-30 bucks and could play it to my heart's content with no more payment needed.

And DLC was called Expansion Packs and contained 5x the content of today's DLC and cost about the same as some of the DLC people pay for today.
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post #6 of 30
and they came out months later, or years later, not the same day as the release of game
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post #7 of 30
This is so stupid. It's called parenting. Since when do we expect the government to parent people's children for them? If your kid makes IAPs with your credit card, take their device away. Don't let them use your CC. Make them get a job and pay you back for any unnecessary charges they run up. I mean, I don't know the best way to parent or raise someone's kid, but that's the point. No one knows (or should know) their kids better than the parents themselves. Do something about it, it's called responsibility and accountability, they're not that difficult, and the lack of them explains why there is so much wrong with the world today.
And to note even further...
Quote:
Originally Posted by source 
According to the app testing company Swrve, data from January showed that only 1.5% of players of mobile games spent any money at all - and that half of the total spending came from 0.15% of the total players, or one in ten of those who do pay in games

So we're getting all bent out of shape over IAPs, when according to this only 1.5% of players spent ANY money! This is not some wide-spread epidemic, it's 1% of all players, so 99% of people who use IAPs don't spend any money at all. some days, this world...smh

Don't get me wrong, I have a couple free to play games on my phone. I enjoy them, and I get frustrated sometimes because it'd be nice if i could do stuff faster, or have bigger armies. But the game is, whether people like it or not, free to play. I haven't had to pay a single penny into my three or four F2P games, they are completely free to play. Just because some people can't budget or control their impulses or have this ridiculous need for instant gratification doesn't mean we need the government "investigating" for us. I'm sorry you can't wait three days for your barracks to upgrade and that you feel you HAVE to pay real money to buy those gems to finish your barracks upgrade today. Personally, I'd rather the government investigate other things, like why health care sucks, or why we can't get food and water to starving people around the world, or why we haven't cured cancer, instead of why the F2P business model is actually F2P and the only problem is people who can't control their impulses.

/rant
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post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

This is so stupid. It's called parenting. Since when do we expect the government to parent people's children for them? If your kid makes IAPs with your credit card, take their device away. Don't let them use your CC. Make them get a job and pay you back for any unnecessary charges they run up. I mean, I don't know the best way to parent or raise someone's kid, but that's the point. No one knows (or should know) their kids better than the parents themselves. Do something about it, it's called responsibility and accountability, they're not that difficult, and the lack of them explains why there is so much wrong with the world today.

You don't understand the article.

The problem is using the term free and then charging money to complete it. It's like saying you can have a mobile free phone, but you need to pay for the software inside it. The term free is used when in fact, it is not free. It's mis-leading customers. The "kids" bit comes where they see free, think something is free and in turns out it is not free.

I would rather the government (and by the way, this isn't a Government, so that's wrong too tongue.gif) made sure businesses did their best for us consumers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

So now we should have legal and government action because people who are smart enough and responsible enough to have a job aren't smart enough to know that wasting money on some cosmetic bullcrap in a game isn't a responsible decision? wth.gif People need to be held accountable for their actions, it's ridiculous that we expect government to do all this for us.

You sound like you're on anti-Government tirade rather than appreciating what the article says.
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

And to note even further...
So we're getting all bent out of shape over IAPs, when according to this only 1.5% of players spent ANY money! This is not some wide-spread epidemic, it's 1% of all players, so 99% of people who use IAPs don't spend any money at all. some days, this world...smh

1.5 or 15%, why should lying be acceptable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

Don't get me wrong, I have a couple free to play games on my phone. I enjoy them, and I get frustrated sometimes because it'd be nice if i could do stuff faster, or have bigger armies. But the game is, whether people like it or not, free to play. I haven't had to pay a single penny into my three or four F2P games, they are completely free to play. Just because some people can't budget or control their impulses or have this ridiculous need for instant gratification doesn't mean we need the government "investigating" for us. .

Again, you missed the point. IAP are accepted, it's how they are advertised as "free games" isn't accepted.

They should be classified or called something different so as to convey what they really are.

Read through it again and it should be clear smile.gif There are also other articles regarding the mis-use of the word free and intentionally mis-leading the consumer.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 98uk View Post

You don't understand the article.

The problem is using the term free and then charging money to complete it. It's like saying you can have a mobile free phone, but you need to pay for the software inside it. The term free is used when in fact, it is not free. It's mis-leading customers. The "kids" bit comes where they see free, think something is free and in turns out it is not free.

I would rather the government (and by the way, this isn't a Government, so that's wrong too tongue.gif) made sure businesses did their best for us consumers!
You sound like you're on anti-Government tirade rather than appreciating what the article says.
1.5 or 15%, why should lying be acceptable?
Again, you missed the point. IAP are accepted, it's how they are advertised as "free games" isn't accepted.

They should be classified or called something different so as to convey what they really are.

Read through it again and it should be clear smile.gif There are also other articles regarding the mis-use of the word free and intentionally mis-leading the consumer.

I've read through it a couple times now. First off, it seems my understanding of European government is incorrect or I am uninformed about how European government works. I simply assumed that the European Union and any commissions that were associated with them would be considered governmental agencies. So I suppose I used government too loosely, I should better understand what the commission and union are before making such conclusions, I'll grant you that and thank you for pointing that out. For the record, I am strongly anti-big-government, I firmly believe we know how to live our lives better than the government does, but not part of this article or the forum, so we'll leave it at that cheers.gif

However, I believe my main point still stands. If only 1% of a user base pays to play an app, then the app is not pay-to-play, it is still free to play because 99% of the users are not paying for it. So the title is not misleading, they are simply capitalizing on people who need instant gratification or can spend their money to get ahead of their peers with microtransactions. The game itself is still free to play, but some people choose to pay to get ahead of the people they're playing against.

To me, it feels like people getting mad at "time-saver packs" for games like Assassin's Creed (most recent game i've played) where you can pay to unlock features early instead of spending the time waiting to get them. No one is outraged over that, but it's the same concept. These F2P games are not offering things you can't get by playing the game for free, it simply offers a faster avenue to get them by paying money. My premise is this: If 99% of your user base is able to use your product without paying, you do not have a pay-to-play model, you have a free-to-play model, with the option for people to pay to get ahead.
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post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by b3machi7ke View Post

However, I believe my main point still stands. If only 1% of a user base pays to play an app, then the app is not pay-to-play, it is still free to play because 99% of the users are not paying for it. So the title is not misleading, they are simply capitalizing on people who need instant gratification or can spend their money to get ahead of their peers with microtransactions. The game itself is still free to play, but some people choose to pay to get ahead of the people they're playing against.

Hence why they are investigating.
 
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