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

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Comments

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912
    Originally posted by Swids2010
    Always amaze's me how many people think there entitled to be just given free games. This will have come about because some idiot will of been playing a game come to a pay wall of some sort and shit a brick "What they want me to pay some money for a game that up till now I've been playing for free stealing gits" Next he's calling his lawyers a couple years later it turns into this something that's just needed.

    I think you kinda miss the point here. It is not whether or not something is free, it is that a company can not call a product free, if it isn't. It's lying. That's what it is about.

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

  • Cellarkid88Cellarkid88 Member UncommonPosts: 56

     

    The EU wants to protect me against cashgrab-apps by making their declaration with the product more distinct and people complain about that?

     

    You guys are the reason my generation wants to die young, seriously.

     

     

     

    Winning a discussion is not what it's about. If you could pass insight to someone or learn something from it in return - noone can really loose, can they?

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140
    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.

  • MikePaladinMikePaladin Member UncommonPosts: 592

    I discussed this  topic a lot of times and regulation like this in long term will improve Game industry. there  a F2P Crossfire FPSMMO  witch has biggest income on top of WOW and many other Titans on MMO market.

    If they will adopt this slowly they will do it for the rest.

    You see more P2P mmo will be there better the quality will be because there will be competition.

     

    ALSO this simple F2P naming is actually successful baiting people spending  thousands in free to play game.Only the fact that they reviewed this law gives us hope that sooner or later we will have law for regulation of MMO marked witch is falling apart.

     

  • AzureProwerAzurePrower Member UncommonPosts: 1,550
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    Originally posted by AzurePrower

    New term to coin!

     

    F2D.

    Free to D.

    Free to Demo.

    So, I'm only playing a demo of SWTOR, or Neverwinter, or RIFT? How about Planetside 2, or Everquest Next: Landmark, or Path of Exile, World of Tanks, Star Trek Online, Champions Online or DC Universe Online, are those only demos as well?

    Yes. Yes you are.

    Yes. Yes they are.

    Enjoy your demos!

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Member Posts: 2,198
    Originally posted by Elikal
    Originally posted by Swids2010
    Always amaze's me how many people think there entitled to be just given free games. This will have come about because some idiot will of been playing a game come to a pay wall of some sort and shit a brick "What they want me to pay some money for a game that up till now I've been playing for free stealing gits" Next he's calling his lawyers a couple years later it turns into this something that's just needed.

    I think you kinda miss the point here. It is not whether or not something is free, it is that a company can not call a product free, if it isn't. It's lying. That's what it is about.

    There is a difference between calling it free, and calling it free to play.  Free to play isn't a lie.

    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.

  • Cellarkid88Cellarkid88 Member UncommonPosts: 56

    Winning a discussion is not what it's about. If you could pass insight to someone or learn something from it in return - noone can really loose, can they?

  • StizzledStizzled Member RarePosts: 2,014
    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.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Member Posts: 906
    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.

    Regulations kill games too.

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

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    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.

    Regulations kill games too.

    -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.

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Member Posts: 2,198
    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.

    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.

  • sketocafesketocafe Member UncommonPosts: 950

    So they'll advertise them as micro-priced or something which emphasizes how low each individual transaction is. This seems like it would do some good in its intent to stop companies from going after people's wallets through their children so easily.

    I like how so many here are quibbling about how if you can play the game at all for free then it is free and entirely missing the point of the commission's statement about how it's how much of the game is free which matters. If you can only play a portion of a game for free, then the game isn't free, only the portion you can play without paying is. This isn't a difficult concept to understand.

  • StizzledStizzled Member RarePosts: 2,014
    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.

    With the exception of actual gambling items, like chance lockboxes, F2P games are nothing like Casinos. When I make a purchase I know exactly what I'm getting, that is not at all gambling.

     

    Whats so bad about a large profit margin? Why should a F2P game not be allowed to make as much money as it can? Should there be a regulation to stop me from walking into GameStop and purchasing every single thing they have for sale, spending thousands of dollars in the process? If not, then why must a F2P game regulate how much a player can spend, should it not be up to the consumer?

     

    No, regulation won't kill a highly profitable industry, but it will kill small, regulation abiding businesses that have no chance at competing against large, "evil" corporations that can lobby their way around regulations.

  • SiugSiug Member UncommonPosts: 1,257
    I don't know which I dislike more - EU that is trying to regulate everything or f2p games. Guess the winner is EU because I can avoid f2p crap but cannot avoid EU without moving from my country.
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member LegendaryPosts: 7,451

    Pretty sure this isn't going to stop gaming companies from calling certain games "Free to Play" because in all reality, it is most certainly true and accurate. If there is no subscription fee and it's free to download, then guess what, it's "Free to Play" and there isn't much else to the subject.

    It's not like they are going to call it "Free to Try" because there is no end to how much or how often you can play. Also, calling it a "Free Trial" isn't accurate because there is no subscription fee in the future should you decide you like it. "Free to Play" is an appropriate term used to describe certain games and calling it a play on words is just argument for the sake of arguing.

    Probably created by the same people who complain about video games and movies making people violent murdering maniacs.

  • KuviskiKuviski Member UncommonPosts: 215
    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.

    Only in the mind of a true free market believer, a randian utopist, could regulation on advertisement be viewed as a possible slippery slope to the government soon regulating the pricing of the product as well. That is paranoia, nothing else, and has no basis on reality.

    Advertising is regulated all the time. Times change and laws have to change too from time to time, and additions must be made.

  • StizzledStizzled Member RarePosts: 2,014
    Originally posted by sketocafe

    So they'll advertise them as micro-priced or something which emphasizes how low each individual transaction is. This seems like it would do some good in its intent to stop companies from going after people's wallets through their children so easily.

    I like how so many here are quibbling about how if you can play the game at all for free then it is free and entirely missing the point of the commission's statement about how it's how much of the game is free which matters. If you can only play a portion of a game for free, then the game isn't free, only the portion you can play without paying is. This isn't a difficult concept to understand.

    However, what does seem to be a hard concept to understand, at least for the European Union, is that just because a game offers microstransactions doesn't mean that it isn't free.

     

    "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.

     

    That is completely idiotic. If a game I'm playing has an energy meter, and every move uses up energy, just because I have the option of buying more energy instead of waiting for it to refill to keep playing doesn't mean that the game isn't free.

  • JudgeUKJudgeUK Member RarePosts: 1,523

    Although people have quite naturally focused on the ftp mmo area here, there are several newspaper and other media articles covering this story in the UK.

    These detail more specifically the target of these discussions - a typical one is copied in below:

    The European Commission is to hold talks with Apple, Google, and app writers, saying consumers need better protection against “unexpected costs” from in-app purchases on tablets and smartphones which can rack up bills of thousands of pounds.

    There have been several high profile cases of children spending hundreds of pounds on these phone games, although of course the question that most people would ask is - why where they given what appears to be an open ended credit resource that allowed them to do this...

  • JacxolopeJacxolope Member UncommonPosts: 1,140
    Originally posted by Stizzled
    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.

    With the exception of actual gambling items, like chance lockboxes, F2P games are nothing like Casinos. When I make a purchase I know exactly what I'm getting, that is not at all gambling.

     

    Whats so bad about a large profit margin? Why should a F2P game not be allowed to make as much money as it can? Should there be a regulation to stop me from walking into GameStop and purchasing every single thing they have for sale, spending thousands of dollars in the process? If not, then why must a F2P game regulate how much a player can spend, should it not be up to the consumer?

     

    No, regulation won't kill a highly profitable industry, but it will kill small, regulation abiding businesses that have no chance at competing against large, "evil" corporations that can lobby their way around regulations.

    -My likening F2P games like  casino was in reference to the lockboxes, surprise packs (with chance to win X item) etc. I have no problem with virtual item sales (at any price) but again, with regulation. This includes some form of ownership rights and being able to replace if defective/not working. Right now we own nothing, nothing is guaranteed to work and there are never replacements and exchanges- Even a chargeback on a defective product usually would men the company taking your account and all your other items- Again, basic regulation is needed here.

    -Nothing bad at all about a large profit margin. I think what they charge (and what you pay) is fine. That is in the realm of free market... 

    The smaller indies seem to be the ones who are doing it right without need for regulation. 

     

    I am rallying for consumer protection- Period. Which is why I think this is a good start. Personally the semantics of "F2P" are unimportant by themselves but this is the start of regulating a very predatory industry which will be good for everyone. Business will survive and adapt. The profit margin in virtual goods is inane right now- And they are doing everything they can to become more and more profitable using every legal avenue and lobbying with the tons of cash they have selling virtual goods. 

    EDIT- I keep saying "selling" virtual goods which is not correct. renting them (since you own nothing) is more appropriate. 

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Member Posts: 906
    Originally posted by Jacxolope
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    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.

    Regulations kill games too.

    -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.

    I was referring to developers regulating their players behavior has a similar effect.

    As far as government oversight? Competition should fix it. If not regulation ,then Im sure everyone will get their piece of the pie.

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

  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Member UncommonPosts: 2,433

    I think this deals mostly with phone and iOS games that are supposedly free to play but hide content behind big paywalls.

    Like: "You have to wait 10 hours to access the next portion of the game or you have to pay up now", etc.

    Which is a completely fair critique. Some of those paywalls are also found in MMO's in lesser degrees, so perhaps we'll see some crossover from this.

    Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Member Posts: 2,198
    Originally posted by Kuviski

    Only in the mind of a true free market believer, a randian utopist, could regulation on advertisement be viewed as a possible slippery slope to the government soon regulating the pricing of the product as well. That is paranoia, nothing else, and has no basis on reality.

    Advertising is regulated all the time. Times change and laws have to change too from time to time, and additions must be made.

    There is a difference between regulating advertising that is actually dishonest, and regulating a term like "free to play" which would only be understood to mean "free" by a drooling incompetent who probably shouldn't be allowed to make any decisions for himself.

    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.

  • dumbo11dumbo11 Member Posts: 134

    I am showing a free 90 minute film, after 60 minutes I walk around the cinema and charge everyone $15 to watch the last 30 minutes...

    That's "free to view" (some of the content).

    Comparing that to a game is difficult - games are a non-linear format, and your definition of 'last 30 minutes' will vary.

    The comparable aspect is the core 'con', that a customer starts using your product believing it is free, and when hooked is informed of the charge(s) to continue using the product.

     

    Anyway, I don't see a problem with adding a warning, especially for mobile games that are frequently played by children.

  • ThoemseThoemse Member UncommonPosts: 457
    Originally posted by Tygranir
    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!

    I doubt this will affect games like Star Trek Online and the like. You can enjoy them without investing a single cent.

    Recently i installed a free to play game on my android tablet that asks for in in app purchase after level 2.

    That's nothing but a demo version!

     

    The problem is that everyone hops on the F2P train and some titles are simply not free at all anymore.

     

  • StizzledStizzled Member RarePosts: 2,014
    Originally posted by Jacxolope

    I am rallying for consumer protection- Period. Which is why I think this is a good start. Personally the semantics of "F2P" are unimportant by themselves but this is the start of regulating a very predatory industry which will be good for everyone. Business will survive and adapt. The profit margin in virtual goods is inane right now- And they are doing everything they can to become more and more profitable using every legal avenue and lobbying with the tons of cash they have selling virtual goods. 

    EDIT- I keep saying "selling" virtual goods which is not correct. renting them (since you own nothing) is more appropriate. 

    I just don't see how regulating the use of "Free", "Buy Now!" and "Upgrade Now!" are protecting consumers. It's a useless regulation and, regardless of what posters like Kuviski may think, useless regulations that people rally behind can lead to even more useless and even idiotic regulations.

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