Free-to-Play Games on App Store No Longer Listed as "Free"

roseofbattle

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Apr 18, 2011
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Free-to-Play Games on App Store No Longer Listed as "Free"

Apple made a small but important change to its App Store, and it's one critics of free-to-play games are celebrating.

Yesterday Apple changed the labeling of free-to-play games, changing the "free" download button to one that's labeled "get." It's a small change, but it's in wake of pressure from the Federal Trade Commission.

Underneath the "get" button is a note that the app contains in-app purchases. Critics of the free-to-play model argue that this model takes away elements of games' content or gameplay and manipulate players into spending more money. There was even a recent South Park episode [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/138451-South-Parks-Freemium-Isnt-Free-Episode-Takes-on-Free-to-Play-Games] that depicted a character unable to stop making in-app purchases even though he didn't like the game.

However, most of the pushback has come from regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission. Both Apple and Google have had to settle complaints from the FTC over in-app purchases. The FTC also addressed complaints to Amazon, but the company has refused to settle. In September, Apple settled and agreed to change its billing practices. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/137306-Google-Settles-FTC-Complaint-over-In-App-Purchases]

An Apple spokesperson told Re/code the "GET" button is a worldwide change. Google has yet to enact a similar change.

Apple's change appears to be small, but it shows that games with in-app purchases aren't quite "free."

Source: Re/code [http://recode.net/2014/11/19/free-apps-arent-free-in-apples-app-store-any-more/]


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Erttheking

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Well the selection at the top still says free, but I suppose that this is a step in the right direction.
 

Parasondox

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I think in EU nations the change has already happened for both hasn't it? I know Google doesn't have the "free" label anymore but the "In-App purchases" label instead. Glad they took off the "free" crap cause it was bull in the first place.
 

Trude

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I'm still shaking my head as to why this is even needed. This is our generation's Ur example of the phrase: A fool and his money are soon parted.
 

Erttheking

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Trude said:
I'm still shaking my head as to why this is even needed. This is our generation's Ur example of the phrase: A fool and his money are soon parted.
To be fair, older generators were stupid with their money too. There's a reason the Great Depression happened.
 

IamLEAM1983

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Aug 22, 2011
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Trude said:
I'm still shaking my head as to why this is even needed. This is our generation's Ur example of the phrase: A fool and his money are soon parted.
That's because you're mature and responsible. Five year-old Timmy McConklin from Bumfuck, Anywhere might not be, and might think that the nice developers are giving away Smurfberries-slash-Platinum-slash-Coins-slash-Gold-slash-Whatever. It takes a minimal knowledge of economics to see the trap they've set, but if you don't have so much as that...

Then you end up with an out-of-season Holidays credit card bill for nothing but virtual tokens. That and, well, like it or not, the Baby-Boomers aren't all sufficiently tech-savvy to understand this issue or even care about it. It's a relatively new problem for a relatively new economy.
 

gridsleep

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"Critics of the free-to-play model argue take away elements of games' content or gameplay and manipulate players into spending more money." That is not a complete logical sentence. Read it carefully. I see writing like this all over the Escapist. Do you have professional editors who read the copy before publication? That's what editors are for.
 

Trude

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That's because you're mature and responsible. Five year-old Timmy McConklin from Bumfuck, Anywhere might not be, and might think that the nice developers are giving away Smurfberries-slash-Platinum-slash-Coins-slash-Gold-slash-Whatever. It takes a minimal knowledge of economics to see the trap they've set, but if you don't have so much as that...

Then you end up with an out-of-season Holidays credit card bill for nothing but virtual tokens. That and, well, like it or not, the Baby-Boomers aren't all sufficiently tech-savvy to understand this issue or even care about it. It's a relatively new problem for a relatively new economy.
Then chalk it up to bad parenting. First thing I learned after how to count currency was to respect it.
 

Dark Knifer

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Trude said:
Then chalk it up to bad parenting. First thing I learned after how to count currency was to respect it.
That would work if there was a certain standard of education required for having children but there isn't.

OT: Good that this is happening on apples stores as well as other places on the internet. Wonder if that south park episode helped get the ball rolling a bit quicker.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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I like this change, that label was incorrect, but i dont like the reasons of why its being done.

IamLEAM1983 said:
That's because you're mature and responsible. Five year-old Timmy McConklin from Bumfuck, Anywhere might not be, and might think that the nice developers are giving away Smurfberries-slash-Platinum-slash-Coins-slash-Gold-slash-Whatever. It takes a minimal knowledge of economics to see the trap they've set, but if you don't have so much as that...
My 5 year old sister understood the difference between real money and in-game money in-app-purchases on her android tablet just fine after i explained it to her a couple times. she never bought anything by accident in 2 years of owning that tablet (shes 7 now).

Dark Knifer said:
That would work if there was a certain standard of education required for having children but there isn't.
The fault of bad parenting is that of parent and not that of google/apple.
 

Dr.Awkward

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Change that Free to Free* up there and that should make a difference. Trust me, a simple asterisk is more powerful than you think...