Android Free to Play Games Will No Longer Be Labelled as ‘Free’ from September

Candy Crush Player

Downloadable! On mobile! Offering repetitive gameplay that is for some reason highly addictive and often related to sugar and/or confectionery! Those are the clues and if you guessed that I’m talking about ‘free to play’ mobile games such as Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and LINE Pop then call yourself Sherlock and sign yourself up for Detective Clichés 101. Indeed, the only thing the rising wave of downloadable titles on iOS, Android and Windows Phone (on the rare chance an app is made compatible on the latter, of course) don’t have in their bag of tricks is the right to be called free. They’re all ‘extra monetisation’ this and ‘wait 10 years until you’ve grown a full set of greys and an energy pip has refreshed’ that with both costing you an arm and a very expensive leg.

Under the European Commission’s ruling, these games are no longer going to be labelled under the rather maliciously described (yet for some reason wholeheartedly embraced) moniker ‘free to play’ in Europe and if it’s on a Google device, the search engine giant will thankfully remove the label from a game’s Google Play listing (on Android) if it offers in-app purchases and they’ll even provide some guidelines to developers that can help them dissuade the little ones from splashing out their parent’s cash on in-game goodies or making pleas for the tooth fairy to exchange their milky white gnashers for moolah, presumably.

Apple were far less compliant with the EU ruling however, delivering the below statement that’s more of an ‘up yours EU’ than anything else. It’s still a good read to find out what (little) they are doing, mind you.

“Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We’ve also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.

These controls go far beyond the features of others in the industry. But we are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we’re adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store.

Our goal is to continue to provide the best experience for our customers and we will continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns.”

So what do you make of it? Have you been hoodwinked and left out of pocket by in-game purchases before or are you glad to see changes being made so that such a thing doesn’t happen? Let us know in the comments.

Source: engadget