Does the game have microtransactions? It will no longer be called ‘free’

Monday, 21 July 2014 17:55 GMT By Sherif Saed

Google is taking steps to ensure games that contain microtransactions will no longer be labelled as ‘free’ on the Google Play Store. The move comes in accordance with a new set of European Commission guidelines.

20130516_google_play

Develop reported the news and MCVUK adds that titles such a Dungeon Hunter 4 and Angry Birds no longer carry a price tag.

Consumer Protection Cooperation network has chosen to go forward with the following guidelines, which were all sent to Apple, Goolge and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe:

  • Games advertised as “free” should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved
  • Games should not contain direct exhortation to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them
  • Games should not contain direct exhortation to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them
  • Traders should provide an email address so that consumers can contact them in case of queries or complaints

According to the website, Apple has not yet provided any commitment to the guidelines, while Google said that it aims to be fully compliant by the end of September. It’s also important to note that enforcement of these rules has yet to be decided by local national authorities.

Perhaps recent games like Dungeon Keeper coming under fire from the press and consumers alike, was a reason for some of these changes. Although it remains to be seen how this new classification will affect paid games and if Google will devise a new category different from ‘free’ and ‘paid’.

Do you think this will bring an end to rampant microtransactions in mobile games, or is it simply a change of paint?

Latest