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

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  • KyllienKyllien Renton, WAPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by Bacchira
    EU should ban all F2P games!

    EU logic doesn't actually work that way.  Instead of banning the F2P games, installing one F2P game must include a Game choice button that will also/or install any number of similar games.  Wait that is only for Microsoft and Internet Explorer/Windows Media Player.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    F2P games that has even a single item on the cash shop that you cant acquire in any way by just playing the game, should be renamed into "free 2 start playing, ingame fees may apply" F2SPIFMA. Abomination title suited for such games.
  • KyllienKyllien Renton, WAPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by meilirs
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

    The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

    That's it.

    How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

    It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

     

     

    They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

     

    Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

    The correct pursuit should be against the platforms that allow even time limited, unfettered access to the pay system on a device.

    Microsoft figured it out with the Windows Phone 8.

    As far as Farmville and that lot of pay us $20 or more an hour in order to keep playing continuosly.  Those games should be banned anyway.   Nothing kills a game like planting a field of crops only to now have to wait a week of real time for the crops to be ready.  Unless you pay $1, $5, $15 or more for enough "Potions of instant rippining" to keep playing.  And that is only the most in your face pay wall.  Want to craft the new recipe?  Well you can only make it if you have these 4 ingredients that are all behind a paywall. 

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    Originally posted by iridescence

    Just because you and I know that if you really want to enjoy  most "free to play" games you're going to have to pay a significant amount of money doesn't make deceptive marketing OK. Companies are using the word "free" deliberately knowing that it will attract a lot of people who will then get invested in the game and be willing to pay.They're basically lying to people to get them to try their product in some of these cases. 

    Would it be so bad for them to call these games "microtransaction funded" or something similar and more accurate rather than "free to play"? I'm glad this whole shady business is getting government scrutiny. I hope authorities over here follow suit. 

    It's not going to deceive anyone with a functioning brain.  It's a technically accurate term.

    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    @Cazneerg,

    Alot of this is actualy targeted at the mobile/tablet market and games that are heavly targeted toward children. The thing is alot of these Apps get away with bypassing the standard parental controls for paid applications because they label themselves as free and they find ways to allow kids to incurr charges without requiring password approval for those charges. So the parent ends up owing money even though the parent implimented the standard parental controls that should prevent the child from downloading any App that has a fee or doing anything in an App that should require a fee.

    The parent expects the kid can't download any App that can incurr a fee because doing so requires the parents password....but the App bypasses that...... The parent expects that the App can't allow a purchase without inputting the parents password....the App bypasses that because instead of direct cash it charges "Smiley Face Points" which then get converted to cash later.

    The 8 year old playing the game see's "Free" and thinks it actualy is Free...this gets confirmed when he's allowed to download the App without Dad's password. He then see's 4 "Smiley Face Points" for that snazy new sword...he doesn't realize that actualy means cash....and that gets confirmed when he doesn't get prompted for Dad's password when he makes the purchase, like he would with any other purchase that would be cash. 

    Frankly, if a parent gives a kid a device that is setup in a way that it can even access the internet to download something without the parent doing it for them, that parent deserves to lose some money.  Any kid too young to understand how these apps work is a kid too young to give unsupervised access to the internet.

    Originally posted by asmkm22

    I don't think this is about semantics.  It's more about misleading marketing practices.  

    That's the thing though; they aren't actually misleading anyone with an IQ above room temperature.

    As far as "protecting children" goes, the children aren't in any danger, of any kind.  Lazy and/or clueless parents are in danger of losing some money because of their poor supervision of their kids, but the kids are going to be just fine.

    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.

  • angerbeaverangerbeaver Dorval, QCPosts: 869Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by arieste

    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.  

    "Free" cars from competition/lottery/games actually come with a price tag called taxes in some places.

  • RetiredRetired los angeles, CAPosts: 743Member
    This is dumb. If I download a game and pay no money and can still level (like every single F2P game out there) then it's free. Sounds like someone got butt hurt in a pay to win game and this is the way they are retaliating . Grow up people.
  • AsariashaAsariasha Somewhere inPosts: 218Member Uncommon

    Actually it is not dumb, but a needed move. Always keep in mind that other players do not have the experience you already gained when playing online games.

     

    See, there exist games that are perfectly targeted on children. Let's take the game Howrse. It is published by Ubisoft and by its theme clearly is a game for female children. In this game the player can grow a horse. It plays pretty much like Tamagotchi. At a certain point your horse can become sick and no matter what actions you are going to take, it will die. Then, all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that you may revive your dead horse by spending € 1.-.

     

    Such games perform psychological warfare against children. Children can be easily influenced and abusing strong feelings such as fear of loss in order to create revenue is immorality at its best. I was shocked when reading about this game mechanic and am very disappointed with Ubisoft, a company that I never put in line with immoral business practices.

     

    As long as companies do not regulate themselves and stop utilizing such business practices, the legislature must act and restore an environement that protects children and customers.

     

    However, what is dumb or let's better say wrong is that the whole games industry is put under general suspicion. Also, I'm not sure if regulating the usage of the term free-2-play will be enough. Marketers will quickly come up with another term and the blinky blinky commercials will still lure children into pocket money grabbing games. 

     

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,578Member Uncommon

    I think it's really needed legislation.

    If you look at "free" games today, there are games like Wizard 101 telling that it's a "free online game for kids and adults to play", when in truth there is no way to proceed from starter areas unless you pay for the game. I'm old enough to remember the time when small free samples of the game were called "demos" or "trials", but now that are called "free games" to get more attention.

    The gaming industry has failed, and because of that the legislation needs to step in and make sure that games start informing people of the costs a bit better.

  • versulasversulas None of your damn business, WAPosts: 286Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vrika

    I think it's really needed legislation.

    If you look at "free" games today, there are games like Wizard 101 telling that it's a "free online game for kids and adults to play", when in truth there is no way to proceed from starter areas unless you pay for the game. I'm old enough to remember the time when small free samples of the game were called "demos" or "trials", but now that are called "free games" to get more attention.

    The gaming industry has failed, and because of that the legislation needs to step in and make sure that games start informing people of the costs a bit better.

    The slippery buggers sprinted right along past the "free to try" era and became f2p before we even knew what happened...

    Used to be if you hit a pre-endgame level cap before you had to dust off the credit card, it was clearly a trial.

    Nowadays you can't swing a stick without hitting a game that advertises free with the "option to pay", without telling you that your options are: being able to finish your class story- or not.

  • PrecusorPrecusor PalmaPosts: 4,733Member Uncommon
    I want legislation against blatant false advertising and make it easier to sue non EU companies.
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by meilirs
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

    The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

    That's it.

    How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

    It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

     

     

    They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

     

    Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

     

    Well, from what people have said in this thread, there are apps that lead the parents to think that there's no danger of their children buying things, and then they find out it's not true.  This is a far cry from what the people in this thread want to whine about about related to MMORPGs on the desktop.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • PhryPhry HampshirePosts: 6,289Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by meilirs
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

    The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

    That's it.

    How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

    It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

     

     

    They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

     

    Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

     

    Well, from what people have said in this thread, there are apps that lead the parents to think that there's no danger of their children buying things, and then they find out it's not true.  This is a far cry from what the people in this thread want to whine about about related to MMORPGs on the desktop.

     

    Its probably because any legislation that comes into effect, that is legally binding on smartphone/tablet apps, will by default also be legally binding on PC's and Console games, an app, is after all just short for 'application' which is just another way of saying its a program, MMO's etc are just PC/Console 'apps'.

    Having legislation in place to prevent misrepresentation or, to put it another way, 'fraud' would be a good thing, it would not collapse the F2P market, it would just make the costs of such more visible, and tbh, the whole industry is definitely in need of a bit more 'transparency'. image

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by meilirs
    Originally posted by lizardbones
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

    The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

    That's it.

    How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

    It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

     

     

    They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

     

    Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

     

    Well, from what people have said in this thread, there are apps that lead the parents to think that there's no danger of their children buying things, and then they find out it's not true.  This is a far cry from what the people in this thread want to whine about about related to MMORPGs on the desktop.

     

    Its probably because any legislation that comes into effect, that is legally binding on smartphone/tablet apps, will by default also be legally binding on PC's and Console games, an app, is after all just short for 'application' which is just another way of saying its a program, MMO's etc are just PC/Console 'apps'.

    Having legislation in place to prevent misrepresentation or, to put it another way, 'fraud' would be a good thing, it would not collapse the F2P market, it would just make the costs of such more visible, and tbh, the whole industry is definitely in need of a bit more 'transparency'. image

     

    There is a difference between marketing games to children with the intent to have them run up charges in a game and a game where the option exists to purchase something.  The people in this thread are just angry that F2P games exist, not that they've been duped into making purchases without realizing it. 

     

    That said, in the EU, it's certainly possible that legislation will have an impact on desktop MMORPGs and the whole F2P market in general.  Huge changes.  Games will be Free To Download and cash shops will be advertised as a feature.  Once it starts making more money, the verbal changes will spread to the rest of the world.  I'm not really sure why the opponents of F2P are thinking this is some kind of victory.  It's just going to open the door for making up something completely new.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    The EU probably want to tax it, they tax everything else so why not?
  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    I am irish, Ireland is in the EU but i would never ever refer to myself as european. Do Americans call themselves North Americans?
  • GruugGruug Chillicothe, ILPosts: 1,311Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    Originally posted by MikePaladin
    OMG we needed this so much !!!! Hope this is cure pill for MMO industy because they wont be able to face roll people with their fake models maybe now they will focus on Quality instead if quantity. This is some great news!

    You didn't actually read the article did you?

     

    To all those who think this is the start of something, even if this were about MMOs (which it isn't) restricting the use of the word "Free" isn't going to kill off a payment model. This is a baby step towards absolutely nothing.

    I disagree.

    I think this could be the start of some much needed regulation.

    I understand this is for mobile apps- But hope this is a small step towards establishing some regulation and rules regarding virtual goods and services.

    -You are probably correct in the short term, nothing changes. But something needs to happen- The gaming industry has practices which would be unacceptable in any other industry and its growing worse and worse.

    It depends on the regulations. Regulations over marketing or how microtransactions are displayed or payed for in game are fine by me. All game companies (including P2P and B2P companies) should be upfront about what they are and aren't going to charge for.

     

    But, it opens the door for harsher regulations. Regulations on how much a company can charger for items, or regulations on how much a person can spend are not good things. The problem is that these are the type of company killing regulations many people want.

     

    I am not at all for regulation of any kind. Even though I have been one to loudly show my disdain for the term "free to play". I would much rather see that people get it through their head that there is  no such thing as a "free to play" game. I would define such as a game which EVERYONE would play without paying any amount of money...FREE. If a company is DEPENDENT upon customers to PAY money  in order for that game to remain open for players, then that is by no means free but rather a paying business model. It is false advertising for companies to make people think they are not playing on what someone else is actually paying for.

     

    Now, regulation is not the way to go. While I applaud the fact that this has raised the bar of recognition on what short of practice companies that use such false terms as "free to play", it also opens up the entire industry to RESTRICTIVE regulation that could in effect put out much poorer quality product or product  unwanted. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about regulating "violent" game developers.  Such things  lead to some government agency with making choices that you I and should be making on our own. Now, are you wishing that someone else makes choices for you? I am not. Leave the government  out of it. Let us debate educate each other and DECIDE FOR OURSELVES.

     

    Let's party like it is 1863!

  • psiicpsiic Tampa, FLPosts: 943Member Uncommon

    Wow some of yall really are dense. This is a politico move. 

    These politicians don't give a crap about consumer rights and protections, they only care about money.

    F2P games are posting staggering profits, and these guys just want a piece. 

    There are one of two ways to get that piece.

    You place a bill like this on the floor and suddenly the video game lobbies are slipping envelopes full of cash under the table.

    or 

    You force a publisher out of a certain tax status. I am not an expert on EU tax codes, but I can say with confidence "FREE" has some kind of tax benefit.

  • jesteralwaysjesteralways ChittagongPosts: 1,007Member Uncommon
    HUH!!!! Those Eu politicians, they did something really awesome. Now let's see how game publishers that are running game in europe replies to this.

    i want an open world, no phasing, no instancing.i want meaningful owpvp.i want player driven economy.i want meaningful crafting.i want awesome exploration, a sense of thrill.i want ow housing with a meaningful effect on my entire gameplay experience, not just some instanced crap.i want all of these free of cost, i don't wanna pay you a cent, game devs can eat grass and continue developing game for me.
    Seems like that is the current consensus of western mmo players.

  • TheRealDarkeusTheRealDarkeus Harrisonburg, VAPosts: 305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by Jacxolope

    -Thats why Casinos are doing terrible?

    These games can be likened to casinos. casinos are more highly regulated than ever before and yet there are more and more popping up in every city and state which allows them.

    Regulation ensures the integrity of the game- In this case we need regulation as many of these games (especially 'F2P') are essentially virtual casinos with real cash being used for virtual rewards. These items are made very cheaply and sold as many times as a button is pressed with little to no overhead and a huge profit margin (and did I mention- No oversight?)

    -Regulation is NOT going to kill an industry this profitable. If it does , then it needs to die. If you think games will stop being made due to regulation I think you watch far too television. If some of these "evil" companies go bottom up- They will be replaced with a far fairer model that works.

    Yes.  They are exactly like casinos.  I know that every time I've logged into a F2P game a hot waitress in a low cut top has shown up next to my computer and proceeded to give me free alcohol until I lose all my money.

    Do you buy Lockboxes from the item store? Random chest? Mystery packs? Do they offer these in the item store? Wouldn't this be considered spending money to GAMBLE on virtual items?

     

    You know you just proved his point right? There are ways to "gamble" your money away in "F2P" games.  

  • HolophonistHolophonist Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    So if a game has a price tag of $60, but that doesn't include future DLC, does that mean the $60 price tag is a lie or misleading?
  • seafirexseafirex gatineau, QCPosts: 357Member Uncommon

    Nice finally they decided to act.

    Now dev's will have to make it free for real. No way to buy things as it was before when you where playing games that where free ofr real about 8 to 10 years ago.

    Since they decided to add cash shop and they where making money and started to call them free to play because they had not charge for monthly fee's or a flat price people had lost the vision of real free things. Everything was coming free with options to buy things, that is not truly free. 

    The worst part they where not even trying to hide it. Even posters here where posting how much profit those business where making Quarterly trying to discredit P2P games. Now they are getting it.

    Hopefully it goes true. If the EU wins then that is it, because they are the one's that run the show. ( Games with cash shop will still be made don't get this wrong but you wont see the word free in them anymore.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by psiic

    Wow some of yall really are dense. This is a politico move. 

    These politicians don't give a crap about consumer rights and protections, they only care about money.

    F2P games are posting staggering profits, and these guys just want a piece. 

    There are one of two ways to get that piece.

    You place a bill like this on the floor and suddenly the video game lobbies are slipping envelopes full of cash under the table.

    or 

    You force a publisher out of a certain tax status. I am not an expert on EU tax codes, but I can say with confidence "FREE" has some kind of tax benefit.

     

    There are no game developers operating with a tax status of giving things away for free.  It doesn't matter if their games are F2P or not, they are deriving X amount of income, and have X amount of resources, so they will pay X amount of taxes.  The envelopes thing is more likely than the tax thing.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • loulakiloulaki PatrasPosts: 918Member

    EU bureaucracy always create stupid laws

     

    people suffer from them, i live in Greece ...

    image

  • PrecusorPrecusor PalmaPosts: 4,733Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by loulaki

    EU bureaucracy always create stupid laws

     

    people suffer from them, i live in Greece ...

    If Greece hadn't racked up all that debt by shamelessly living beyond their means, then none of this would have happened. .. and being part of the EU and getting billions of euros have pretty much saved that country from absolute collapse..

     

     

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Jackson, MIPosts: 924Member
    Originally posted by Precusor
    Originally posted by loulaki

    EU bureaucracy always create stupid laws

     

    people suffer from them, i live in Greece ...

    If Greece hadn't racked up all that debt by shamelessly living beyond their means, then none of this would have happened. .. and being part of the EU and getting billions of euros have pretty much saved that country from absolute collapse..

     

     

    Well, you know what they say about those Greeks.

     

    The Greeks invented sex...The Italians introduced it to women. =P

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