UK Government launches public survey into in-app purchases

Wednesday, 17th April 2013 13:19 GMT By Dave Cook

The Office of Fair Trading has published a public survey into the use of in-app purchases in a bid to determine whether or not they cross lines into unlawful activity.

You can find the questionnaire here. It comes following the OFT’s publicly-stated intent to investigate the nature of in-app purchases, following claims that they are misleading or overly-intrusive.

You may remember the child who logged into Capcom’s Smurf’s Village and ran up a whopping bill on his parent’s iPhone? That’s exactly the kind of behaviour the OFT wants to cull and investigate further.

The survey asks parents to comment on their child’s gaming habits, whether or not they are allowed their own accounts, and on their family’s in-app purchase activity.

If you want to take part you have until Friday, 28 June to do so.

Let us know what you think of the lawfulness and validity of in-app purchases today.

Thanks Eurogamer.



  1. GrimRita

    This is what really pisses me off about parents. They moan about violence in video games but are more than happy to buy Grand Theft Auto for their 8 year old and now it’s about IAPs.

    Its about time they man up and took some responsibility. Besides, Apple and others have changed how in app purchases are made, so this is too little too late imo.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Joe_Gamer

    It’s hard to argue that they should be illegal but almost all of the tablet games I looked at for my daughter were riddled with micro-transactions, constant prompts to buy fake currencies, buy other games, etc. I don’t think I’m going to install anything that is supported by microtransactions but if you look at the market, that disqualifies almost everything. some of the disney stuff isn’t so bad, if you buy the game upfront it mostly just lets you play but damn near EVERYTHING from smaller devs is just a toxic mess.

    I say regulate the shit out of it.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    @2 then by doing that you just kill smaller devs. If you dont want the ads, simply purchase the game. But if you go down the free route, then ads will be there.

    Devs need to support themselves some how.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Joe_Gamer

    Many of the games have no “purchase” option, I’m more than happy to buy games, but a majority of what I found were pure item shops, they offer fake currencies by the virtual truckload, often offering packages that are far more expensive than full blown AAA games. You want that pretty-princess-fairy-crown? Awww so sad, click here to buy 8000 gypsy-gems for the low lo price of $49.99 you get more gems that way kiddies! who cares if you don’t yet have a concept of value or money, just click the flashing button for your pretty-pretty-pretties ok sweetums…yup, not exploitation at all…

    #4 2 years ago

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