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The dark side of freemium content
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Ajent | 20:37 - 19 April 2012
I don't see how the parents have a leg to stand on. If the children aren't mature enough to understand the context of what it is they are doing, the games they are playing and the costs involved, then they are obviously not old enough to play the games unsupervised.
I would imagine that these are the same parents who ignorantly buy Call of Duty for their 10yr olds because "everyone else in school is playing it" (the parents being completely unaware of the content in the game - dismissing it because it is a 'game' - despite the big red 18 mark on the cover).
Ignorance is not a valid excuse for screwing up.
Chivas77 | 19:33 - 17 April 2012
@RPGPro, that's all well and good, but with pretty much every single freemium game on the AppStore, potential costs are not immediately apparent. firstly if you ask the average person on the street to define "freemium", 9 times out of 10 you will get an incorrect answer, it's a relatively new way of selling content and not that many people actually understand it. Looking at Chaos Rings 2, it's an expensive game, but we see the price immediately on iTunes before we download the app, it's straight, you pay and you get the game, nothing confusing about that
On the other hand we have Gameloft's Ice Age Village as an example. It has "free app" in bold letters right at the top and you can just click this button and download the game, there's several paragraphs of blurb telling us how awesome the game is, at no point is there any mention of the game potentially costing a buttload of money. You then have to scroll down a little and in kind of greyed out text on the left hand side in very small letters there's a list of in app purchases ranging from £0.69p to £69.99. It doesn't take a genius to work out that, once a parent downloads the game, and gives the device to their children, they can potentially rack up a huge bill during the window when a password is not required on iTunes.
So yeah, in a nutshell, these parents may have a very good point to make, not sure if they'll win the case though
RPGpro | 17:36 - 17 April 2012
Firstly: all free games have to make money somehow, either through advertisements that drain your phone's battery life incredibly quickly or through premium content.
Secondly: online accounts (such as an apple iStore account) are desgned to be 1 account per person, each user of a device whether a computer, iPad, iPhone or anything else that requires an account to go online should have their own account, if the children mentioned in this article had their own accounts they wouldn't have been able to spend their parents money.
SRBian | 13:18 - 17 April 2012
My wife and I don't let our kids go on those freemium games for that very reason (even with the restrictions now in place) but it just shows that some parents don't really understand how the games worked and just downloaded them to keep the kids busy.
If they win it might change the freemium games content (i'm of the opinion everything should be available to all players but you can spend to speed things up/advance more quickly) or it may open the flood gates for other people to sue over the smallest thing in the app store/games that they don't have a great grasp of.
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