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European Union: Stop calling games "free to play" which are not!

ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 7,906Member Uncommon

In a staggering move, the European Commission currently debates to disallow companies calling games "free" which apparently are not, since they have paywall of certain kind, and only games are allowed to call themselves "free to play" which are free in it's entirety.

Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-02-27-free-to-play-misleading-advertising-in-europe

Quote:

"The Consumer Protection Cooperation and EC member states have released a list of common positions on the subject, with misleading advertising at the top.

"The use of the word 'free' (or similar unequivocal terms) as such, and without any appropriate qualifications, should only be allowed for games which are indeed free in their entirety, or in other words which contain no possibility of making in-app purchases, not even on an optional basis," the group said."

 

Which I fully support! I am glad to see how the EU often sides with the customers. *waves EU flag* :)

People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

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Comments

  • ShrillyShrilly Citra, FLPosts: 380Member Uncommon
    This here...This was well needed
  • TygranirTygranir Colordo Springs, COPosts: 741Member
    Wait a minute... If you can log into a game and play (regardless of how much content you can play) for free.... how is that not Free to play? You are playing for free!

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  • volttvoltt richmondhill, ONPosts: 269Member
    lol it will be a short list of actual games that are free since its a business there in it to make money
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,559Member Uncommon

    Rift will keep the label in EU - as it is really free to play in its entirety.

     

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    It's amazingly sad that the grasp of the English language in the EU is that poor.  I can't think of one F2P game that can't be played for free.

    EDIT: If they can't see that "to play" is an appropriate qualification, they are the ones lacking in appropriate qualifications.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • ZeroPointNRGZeroPointNRG Crooklyn, NYPosts: 70Member
    There are a couple ways you can interpret the meaning of the wording used there. The "in-app purchase" part seems to allow a loophole where players can still go to the company website for virtual goods. Just so long as there's not an actual in-game shop, it might be kosher, (they could still call the game "free to play"). 
  • TuchakaTuchaka san diego, CAPosts: 468Member

    anybody that needs to be 'saved' from how a game is played by a governmental type institution is terminally stupid.

     

    If you can control yourself and not spend tons of money on a F2P there is no problem , if you can't control your spending habits blame yourself.

  • imsoenthusedimsoenthused Tulsa, OKPosts: 64Member
    So optional purchases make free games not free? That's kind of like saying a free admittance even in real life isn't free if it has a concession stand inside.
  • ariestearieste toronto, ONPosts: 3,308Member Common

    What's next?  I can't have a "Free" car because it doesn't come with a lifetime supply of gasoline?  Or a free slice of pizza because it doesn't include the required healthcare and gym membership?    

     

    Very few things in the world are totally free without the chance that you'll either pay for it somehow or buy other things.  

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  • ThornrageThornrage Eastern North CarolinaPosts: 593Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tuchaka

    anybody that needs to be 'saved' from how a game is played by a governmental type institution is terminally stupid.

     

    If you can control yourself and not spend tons of money on a F2P there is no problem , if you can't control your spending habits blame yourself.

    This ^^^^^^^

    "I don't give a sh*t what other people say. I play what I like and I'll pay to do it too!" - SerialMMOist

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    All depends on how you define the word "play."

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon
    It's about bloody time!

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonPosts: 845Member Uncommon

    Cool it guys enough with the nerd rage.

    The meeting was primarily with Google and Apple about apps not about F2P MMO games.

    "Like it or not, apps and games that cost nothing but that let users spend money inside them have become the norm on mobile app stores. And now the The European Commission is meeting with Apple, Google, and consumer protection groups to discuss reforms to so-called freemium games and apps. It's meeting with the companies today and tomorrow to ask for clearer language about the actual costs involved, as well as to create rules that prohibit any "direct" extortions that ask children to request money from adults. The commission is also asking for tighter controls on how in-app payments are made, as well as for apps to include a direct email address to the developer."

     

    "These issues have already been brought up in the US and have led to changes. An earlier policy on Apple's App Store allowed purchases to be made without an iTunes password within a brief window, something that was later rectified. Nonetheless, the feature attracted a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission and an eventual settlement involving $32.5 million in consumer refunds last month. After settling a separate lawsuit last year, the company also added notices about in-app purchases right on app listings. Google continues to offer a window where passwords are not required, though last month said it was working on extra controls over Google Play purchases"

    both quotes from: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/27/5453934/the-european-union-is-grilling-apple-and-google-about-free-to-play

     

  • askdabossaskdaboss LondonPosts: 631Member Common

    Two things:

    - First, this is mainly aimed at the smartphone market and casual games,

    - Second, this is mainly aimed at children.

    Now, I am pretty sure that Apple asks the smartphone owner to enter their credentials before EVERY in app purchase. It's not like it happens behind your back - without you noticing.

    Parents who give control of their credit card to their young (and old) children (by giving their account password or whatever) and end up with a bill of £980 should be publicly be named and shamed.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/27/apple-google-in-app-purchases-children-european-commission

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member Common

    Yes, that's exactly what we need, more government interference in our lives. Oh wait, EU, nevermind.

     

    I'm glad to see that legislatures in the EU have nothing better to do than debate video games. Utopia over there, I suppose.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,559Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    All depends on how you define the word "play."

    Also how you define "to" 

    :)

     

  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonPosts: 845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by WhiteLantern

    Yes, that's exactly what we need, more government interference in our lives. Oh wait, EU, nevermind.

     

    I'm glad to see that legislatures in the EU have nothing better to do than debate video games. Utopia over there, I suppose.

    1. It is a discussion not a direction or a piece of legislation
    2. It is being done by the European Commission not the European Parliament or any other legislature
    3. It is not about video games but about phone apps
    4. The US of A  already did something very like this.
  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member


    truth in advertising is a good thing.

     

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • NotimeforbsNotimeforbs Memphis, TNPosts: 346Member Common
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    All depends on how you define the word "play."

    Also how you define "to" 

    :)

     

    President Clinton... is that you?

    "That depends on what the meaning if the word is... is..."

  • ozmonoozmono Not tellingPosts: 1,211Member
    Yup, good for the EU, hope my country has a similar conversation.
  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    [mod edit]

    It's funny to see people defending marketers. Not surprising unfortunately.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • DauntisDauntis Kansas City, MOPosts: 550Member Uncommon
    Most F2P games are to a free to play game as movie trailers are to a free movie.

    I would like to give an opinion on this post, but if I agree I will offend people who disagree. While if I disagree my comment will be seen as inflammatory. Either way I will get banned by this site full of the most delicate flowers in online gaming. Ban people for giving honest opinions... beautiful. Unfortunately I still like the articles.

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by FinalFikus


    truth in advertising is a good thing. 

    Yes, it is.  Which is why the games are called "Free to Play," which is accurate, not simply "Free" which would be a stretch.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • IGaveUpIGaveUp NW, INPosts: 273Member

    This will be interesting to watch.  Good post, thanks.

     

  • PAL-18PAL-18 AnachronoxPosts: 802Member

    Was about time.

    But what comes next

    a.buy to free ? (B2F)

    b.pay to play 4 free ? (P2P4F)

    c.free to play if you pay ?  (F2PIP)

    d.?

     

    So, did ESO have a successful launch? Yes, yes it did.
    By Ryan Getchell on April 02, 2014.
    **On the radar:http://cyberpunk.net/**

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