Google to stop calling games with in-app purchases, "Free" in Europe

Google to stop calling games with in-app purchases,
As part of an agreement between Google, the European Commission and its Member States, Google is no longer labeling an app as being free if it contains an in-app purchase. The tech titan is also changing its default setting to make sure that payments are authorized before each in-app purchase is made, unless there is a change made by the phone's user to the default setting.

EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, who is charge of the Union's Digital Agenda, said, "The Commission is very supportive of innovation in the app sector. In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it's essential for app-makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models."

Besides not calling games "free" when they contain in-app purchases, Google will author guidelines aimed at its developers, telling them not to promote apps and in-app purchases directly to children. Changes are expected to be made before the end of September. It is not clear whether Google plans on making these changes to its Google Play Store sites outside of the EU.

Apple also is expected to agree to similar changes for the App Store. Unlike Google though, Apple has yet to commit to making changes, although it has said that it will address the EU's concerns. Obviously then, there is no time frame for when we might see action from Cupertino. The EU and its Member States have also invited game developers to join in the conversation.

source: Europa via AndroidCentral



1. Hammerfest

Posts: 384; Member since: May 12, 2012

"In-app purchases are a legitimate business model" and camping is a legitimate strategy in any FPS... Sorry but Ill take PAYING for a WHOLE game over in-app pruchase's anyday... "you bought the fork, but you now need the spoon to continue, $9.99!" (oh noez soup monstar!)

4. steedsofwar unregistered

Too right mate. BTW, i don't mind camping in FPS games.

16. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Yeah... I'm a camper. lol

5. kaboom

Posts: 6; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

Not me though

20. Totse2k15

Posts: 478; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Agree OP. I'd rather pay for whole game instead of in-app [s]hit. Rusher (rambo style) for me, btw.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Google/Apple/MS should classify IAP, e.g. ad removal/donate vs cheats/shortcuts Then have a top free apps chart, in which the apps must be free with no IAP or only the ad removal/donate type IAP Also paid games shouldnt have IAPs, except maybe extra donate or expansion packs IAPs

3. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Fair enough. I hate freemium

6. Trolloftheyear

Posts: 66; Member since: Jul 16, 2014

Do it in all over the world.

8. techspace

Posts: 1037; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

yes, they should have 3, paid and free to install games/apps.

7. brasstax

Posts: 541; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Freemium needs to be banned globally. An app or game should be either paid or free. Developers work hard & rightly need to be paid. They can charge a one time fee for their work. Freemium is a rip off, especially pertaining to games. It's a scam to make you spend $50 to complete a game instead of charging you $5 upfront & be done with it.

17. JMartin22

Posts: 2369; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Only $50? Most Freemium games will have you spending in increments of $100s, which can easily turn into a price tag of thousands.

21. Armchair_Commentator

Posts: 222; Member since: May 08, 2014

They can sure as hell "try to" but its ultimately the end user who has to accept it, granted kids are their target audience, but try to educate them too

9. swiekekodok

Posts: 58; Member since: Jul 19, 2014

Beware of freemium games or app, at the start and must buy for anything,when u want to continue.... #damn

10. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1246; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Good and bring this to whole world, not just EU... Further users MUST BE FORCED to type password again and again for each IAP purchase and don't ask password again option MUST BE GREYED out for IAP... So that children may not use accidently, imho... IAP is ok for expansion pack, but for each weapon is ridiculous...

11. zennacko unregistered

DLCs were (and still are!) a horrible practice, but then some horrible mind introduced IAP, the quickest way to go bankrupt because unlike their parents, the DLCs, IAP can be bought to the infinity (and beyond!) and no limits are set, especially if you or your daddy (whoever happens to be addicted to Candy Crush et al.) happens to own a Centurion credit card. (yay for unlimited lives, energy refills and whatever else I might need for as little as $10000 a month!) I really think these should be banned, or opted out at the permissions screen, like, clicking that you DO NOT agree with In-App purchases will lead you to a "paid in full" app, or a free version with no IAP at all! If that's not doable, they should add a 2-step purchase verification (insert password again, and credit card as well, for EVERY purchase) along with a reminder of how many Lincoln bills were spent so far on that specific app (because guilty feelings are good against almost all addictions, except alcohol and drug abuse, sadly.)

12. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

In europe? This should be worldwide...Freemium/Pay-to-win/Glu/Gameloft/Gamev​il needs to be stomped out and left for dead...

13. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

And worst of them all: King.

14. geordie8t1 unregistered

i actually would not mind in app purchases if they were priced reasonably, i mean, i play a freemium game called megapolis and some of the virtual buildings can cost anything from 19.99 euros upto 50.00 euros, for one small building, WTF, other games cannot be played without downloading the updates and addons, games like fifa also are VERY restricted in game play unless you pay extra money to unlock the various settings, im all for people making money and games are no exception but in all fairness please eather reduce the over priced freemium content or just forget it all together and just either pay a flat fee for the game like £5 or 5euros or get the game free, any updates to the game at a later date can be sold for minimal prices but the game should be fixed price or free....

19. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

I agree. Why can't in app purchases be a dollar or less? If you end up paying more for a mobile game than you would for buying a console game, then something is wrong.

15. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

The issue is that the people who are actually paying the in app purchases to get faster cars or coins to buy animals etc.. if people didnt do this then company like google wouldn't bother with it. If people are paying out then its there problem. Yeh i agree that its to easy for kids to purchase in app stuff but then why the hell didnt the parent delete the bank details from google wallet etc. Dont get me wrong i think its a total con, but what do you expect from company's if they know people will pay out.

18. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

I completely agree. The companies see profit and they go for it. There is nothing wrong with that. People just need to be educated on what Freemium actually is. This is just like those auction sites that claim to auction of expensive things for cheap. The catch is that you have to pay a dollar every time you bid and the auction time ticks up 10 seconds every time a bid comes in. I personally find this sales tactic to be brilliant and I wish I had thought about it, lol, but it is still devious as hell. People just need to be educated consumers and the ones who are educated consumes should voice their opinions but also be accepting of others ignorance. As far as children go, that is completely on the parents.

22. JMartin22

Posts: 2369; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I remember dropping over $1,000 on one of those Korean Free-to-play money pits, I still couldn't complete my game playing experience without shelling out even more. That's how most F2P games are structured nowadays. I'd rather just pay $20 for a full game without any of the content being gouged out. It's far cheaper in the long run if you care about a wholehearted gaming experience without IAP currency and barriers getting in the way

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