Office of Fair Trading to Investigate Ethicality of Freemium Games...

Jonesy012

Well-known Member
Office of Fair Trading to Investigate Ethicality of Freemium Games... - BBC News

Interesting article.

I have been worried for a while that Freemium games and in-game microtransactions are getting more common in hyped and exciting titles such as Real Racing 3, sometimes even spoiling the game in ways.

But the major issue is how ambiguous the costs can be to those not as learned about the subject.

In its investigation, the OFT wants to find out if the games are "misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair" when they give people the chance to buy extras. It also wants to find out if children are being specifically targeted by such applications.

I think this can only be a healthy move for the VG industry, and with any luck will reduce the amount of exposure 'freemium' in-app purchases have. For one the title 'Free' shouldn't really be applied to the advertisement so that ignorant parents can avoid falling for the ploy themselves.

I have always said that in-app purchases is acceptable but only if the game isn't manipulated in a way that it is enjoyed less without spending the money.

The Agera R has an asking price of 800 gold. So if you want it, you'll have to settle with either two £34.99 / $69.99 payments, or a single £69.99 / $99.99 splurge (in which case, you'll have 200 gold to spare).
- pocketgamer

This, for me, is far removed from what is acceptable and many reviewers have heavily criticised the fact the in-game premium currency has spoiled the game. It is clear when playing that rewards for races are minimal and damage repair costs are high/long to persuade players into paying real life money. Personally I play the game quite casually so it doesn't bother me, but I would have loved the game had it simply been £6.99 and had everything.

Now from a business point of view I totally get it, but as a gamer I am quite sad.

See what OFT come back with. Maybe it will be a step in the right direction.
 

bransoj

Well-known Member
Unfortunately what I think we'll end up with is making it harder for things to be bought in error or by kids but they'll still be in there. There is some talk that yesterday's update to Real Racing 3 has increased damage on cars!!
 

Jonesy012

Well-known Member
Unfortunately what I think we'll end up with is making it harder for things to be bought in error or by kids but they'll still be in there. There is some talk that yesterday's update to Real Racing 3 has increased damage on cars!!
I might have to check that out - it's a shame that RR3 had to be marred in such a way really. Otherwise it is a fantastic game on many levels, pretty much all that count as a game.

I know these models are a part of gaming now and it will probably never die, but if it at least becomes more defined so people aren't tricked into it. What just irks me most is how games are made worse so that currency is made more attractive. That is mainly to do with a certain company though.
 

Crovon

Distinguished Member
I don't think it's the business model that is the problem. It's the pure greed of the pricing they should be looking at!

I have had my issues with in app purchases. My 6 year old was playing a game and was buying the currency without my knowledge, she ran up a £170 bill on my credit card!!

Now I know it was my fault and I've learnt my lesson and disabled in app purchases, apple were kind enough to refund me the cost.

Now I wouldn't be quite so annoyed if it were jut £10 or £20 but £170!?!

I really don't see how any of them can justify the stupidly high prices that they charge. The Simpsons tapped out has a donut package that costs £69.99, you could buy a full console game for £30 less than that and have all the content from the start.

It's just a big rip off and the freemium model is being abused.

They can't even suggest that the cost of develpment is high either. I welcome the investigation but I just hope the OFT have the balls to sort it all out.
 

barney_2k

Standard Member
I can see where they are coming from with this.

But at the same time ... *as I prepare to get flamed* ... I can't help but think that if you want to spend that much on a game ... Go ahead! You might say it's ridiculous to spend 2k on a computer that will play games at the absolute top level when a 1k machine wouldn't be THAT far away!

I just think, ignore it! If you don't like the freemium model, don't pay any money and enjoy the free aspects of the game.

It's difficult to argue that the quality of mobile games hasn't gone up since the inception of the 'freemium' model as it supports developers, and I'm all for that!

But the fact that a lot of these are aimed at kids worries me a little. That's something they really need to look at. Consenting adults who buy doughnuts on Tapped Out ... Have a long hard look at yourself.

Just my 2c!

Sent from my HTC One X+ using Tapatalk 2
 

Jonesy012

Well-known Member
Fair points although I would argue that the quality of games can go up all they like, they will never reach their full potential in a lot of the consumers eyes if it has a freemium mask slapped on it.

I wouldn't mind if the prices were reasonably as well.

Still, I am one of those people who ignores it but that doesn't mean I'm less entitled to complain. If anything I can justify my points more by not bowing to pressure and contributing to the reason it is becoming more popular. Just a shame that's all.

Real Racing 3 especially is an awesome game. That system includes waiting for repairs, upgrades and getting lower rewards to tempt the gamer into paying for more premium currency which slows the pace and rewards the gamer enjoys.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom