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

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  • AsariashaAsariasha Member UncommonPosts: 241

    I'm a little bit undetermined whether to like or not to like this attempt to regulate the usage of the term "free 2 play" in marketing.

     

    In Germany, from time to time a TV show called Frontal 21 reports about children that got hooked by F2P games and then use mommys and daddys credit card to purchase stuff for their F2P game. I'm a firm believer that in such cases it is the parents fault, because they did not follow their legal duty of supervision.

     

    However, I also think that the term F2P is used inflationary. Yes, most F2P games can be downloaded and played for free, but in most F2P games you quickly reach a point that makes purchases neccessary and these purchases are usually cost intensive. Now imagine a child was playing such a game. Lured, hooked, frustrated by artificial slow down, grabs moms and dads credit card, boom. Damage done.

     

    Children can easily be impressed and influenced by certain terminology. The term free 2 play and some blinky blinky pictures are enough to get their attention. And finally when the kid reaches the point that makes payment necessary to proceed in the game easy payment methods such as pay by sms, pay by phone or by credit card are offered.

     

    I think I'm for this regulation. It doesn't really hurt the games industry. Marketers will quickly adapt.

  • GadarethGadareth Member UncommonPosts: 310

    You need to think beyond the box here. This new regulation is more focused on those kids mobile phone apps than it is on mmorpgs. A lot of these so called "free" apps have major costs once you get inside the game itself.

    Pretty much like how coffee now needs a warning stating be careful this may be hot and a bag of peanuts the warning "this may contain nuts".

    There are genuine free products out there and the consumers needs to be able to tell a truly free product from one which demands a cash flow before you can fully enable the game/application.

     

  • ThoemseThoemse Member UncommonPosts: 457

    Gotta revise my comment from above. Apparently the EU commission wants to get rid of the "free" term from every title that offers anything for cash wich includes all F2P titles.

    It is a good move though. I totally support it.

  • BeelzebobbieBeelzebobbie Member UncommonPosts: 430
    MY friends kid bought a robot vacum cleaner by an add on his mothers Iphone and the kid was 6 years old and wanted a robot :)
  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    I think the real problem of so called "Free to play" games, especially all those viscious, cheap app-store games is this: there is some stuff free, but the entire game is built around making a CONTINUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE against the player, trying his patience with day long wait schedules and then "pay here to get it done now". The viscious Zynga type games like Farmville and their lots. They are nothing less than addicting people, psycho-war to program the player like in a Skinnerbox to put more and more money into  a system by undermining his will. They are not free games with minor stuff to buy, like GW2 is. GW2 is perfectly fine. They are rip offs with barely a true free part, but a barebone functionality and constantly pressuring the gamer to buy by psychologically well known methods.

    They are evil, and if they were forbidden entirely I wouldn't shed a single tear for this sort of rip off scam pseudo-gaming!

    The EU doesn't even want to forbid any of these (alas!), but merely disallow them for calling themselves "free".

     

    "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Vulgo: Don't lie.

    -God

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  • QuirhidQuirhid Member UncommonPosts: 6,230
    Originally posted by Elikal

    I think the real problem of so called "Free to play" games, especially all those viscious, cheap app-store games is this: there is some stuff free, but the entire game is built around making a CONTINUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE against the player, trying his patience with day long wait schedules and then "pay here to get it done now". The viscious Zynga type games like Farmville and their lots. They are nothing less than addicting people, psycho-war to program the player like in a Skinnerbox to put more and more money into  a system by undermining his will. They are not free games with minor stuff to buy, like GW2 is. GW2 is perfectly fine. They are rip offs with barely a true free part, but a barebone functionality and constantly pressuring the gamer to buy by psychologically well known methods.

    They are evil, and if they were forbidden entirely I wouldn't shed a single tear for this sort of rip off scam pseudo-gaming!

    The EU doesn't even want to forbid any of these (alas!), but merely disallow them for calling themselves "free".

     

    "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Vulgo: Don't lie.

    -God

    GW2 is not a free to play game (F2P). It is a buy to play game (B2P). You have to pay for the box in order to play.

    And lets keep away from ancient obscure fictional texts when talking about legislation.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • immodiumimmodium Member RarePosts: 2,610

    What a complete and utter waste of time.

    Next the EU are going to find out which is better, Coke or Pepsi.

    image
  • SeravajanSeravajan Member UncommonPosts: 192

    There are four types of so called "Free 2 Play" games.

    A) Completely free to play
    B) Free to play with boosts from in-app purchases but still playable without spending any money.
    C) Free to play with boosts from in-app purchases but still playable without spending any money. But due the construction of the game free players will fall back off so horribly so that it is necessary for them to pay a lot of stuff just to be able to keep up.
    D) Free to play till a specific requirement is meet then you will be enforced to pay for unlocking further stuff or to advance further. (Can also be called a sort of demo)

    I do assume that the EU will protect the customers from games type C and D stating that they are free to play but they are in reality not. But the statement of the EU will also affect games of the typus B, which can be played really for free and people are not enforced to pay anything.

    Another thing is with games of typus D where it is clearly stated that it is only for free till a clearly stated limit is reached and that is a requirement to pay if you want to advance further.

    In the type C games you can find many of the facebook games or asia grinder MMORPGs.

  • ZadawnZadawn Member UncommonPosts: 670
    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.

    I agree, but when did the masses ever did? They need help.


  • berenimberenim Member UncommonPosts: 162
    As someone already stated I guess it is more about games like My Free Zoo, Farmville & co, which bait especially younger people by restricting content, or making times so long the impatience of kids and youth kicks in so they spent money, perhaps even without permission of mom and dad. At least that's what I read in articles about that subject. MMOs are less of a target, but might be hit due to the F2P term from their side, too.

    image

  • cowheadcowhead Member UncommonPosts: 94
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88

     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.   

     

    You already have that protection. It's called You. You choose what to play. You choose what to spend money on. You take responsibility for your choices. You are the first, last and only protection you need.

    If you cannot/will not protect yourself from something as unimportant as video games; heaven help you. You're not long for this world.
  • Solar_ProphetSolar_Prophet Member EpicPosts: 1,956

    Oh goody, more useless and unnecessary regulation to protect those who lack common sense and / or have an IQ lower than the average men's shoe size.

    This is the equivalent of outlawing giveaways on sites like this one because the 'free' item doesn't include the cost of internet bandwidth needed to claim it. It's completely unnecessary and it will snowball to encompass other things, as all government regulation is wont to do.

    AN' DERE AIN'T NO SUCH FING AS ENUFF DAKKA, YA GROT! Enuff'z more than ya got an' less than too much an' there ain't no such fing as too much dakka. Say dere is, and me Squiggoff'z eatin' tonight!

    We are born of the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood. Our eyes are yet to open. FEAR THE OLD BLOOD. 

    #IStandWithVic

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910
    Originally posted by DMKano

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

     

     

    Is there the possibility of making a purchase from within the game?  If so, then it's not "Free".

     

    **

     

    This sounds a lot more like it's aimed at the mobile market, not desktop MMORPGs, though desktop MMORPGs are going to get caught in the same net.  It stems from people buying things without meaning to, mostly children.  Think, shiny upgrade buttons without a double check on purchases.  It would be like handing Google Play to a child, without having the password check on purchases.

     

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

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Member Posts: 2,198
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    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.

    [mod edit]

    [mod edit]Free to play meaning free, not free to play meaning free to play.  If free to play meant free, it wouldn't include the words "to play."

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
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    The Force shall free me.

  • ZadawnZadawn Member UncommonPosts: 670
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    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.

    [mod edit]

    [mod edit]

     Free to play meaning free, not free to play meaning free to play.  If free to play meant free, it wouldn't include the words "to play."

    Stepping into that new zone is part of playing and i can't do that unless i pay. Riding the sparkly pony is part of playing, unless i pay i will not have access to it. So on and so forth.


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

    [mod edit]

    [mod edit]

     Free to play meaning free, not free to play meaning free to play.  If free to play meant free, it wouldn't include the words "to play."

    So then you agree that play should be defined?

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

  • quixadhalquixadhal Member UncommonPosts: 215
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
    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.

    [mod edit]

    [mod edit]

      Free to play meaning free, not free to play meaning free to play.  If free to play meant free, it wouldn't include the words "to play."

    So then you agree that play should be defined?

    I agree that the amount of money wasted on this probably exceeds the total profit of more than a handful of "free to pay" games.  This is why we can't have nice things.

     

  • tyfontyfon Member UncommonPosts: 240

    This is just a way for the customer to have all information regarding the purchase ahead of time.

    Just like a bank is required to inform about effective rate including all fees and not just the regular interest rate for loans.

     

    If the companies business plans can see the light of day then this is no problem for them. If it can't.. well that is what this proposed law is all about :)

    You can't make proper decisions without all the information.

     

     

  • GoldenArrowGoldenArrow Member UncommonPosts: 1,186

    With that definition only FREEWARE would be free.

    Optional purchases -> Every game nowdays.

  • Cellarkid88Cellarkid88 Member UncommonPosts: 56
    Originally posted by cowhead
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    You already have that protection. It's called You. You choose what to play. You choose what to spend money on. You take responsibility for your choices. You are the first, last and only protection you need. If you cannot/will not protect yourself from something as unimportant as video games; heaven help you. You're not long for this world.

     

    I partly agree and disagree. It seems to be a misconception that this is about adults only - for example a 21 year-old man having a job and income that only he is responsible for. In this case I wholeheartly agree with you.

     

    I encourage the EU to do this nonetheless because: look on the streets. I see children in kindergarten who already have the newest iPhone or at least a Smartphone of any kind. Those children are still learning what money is and what it means (this doesn't magically come overnight or is due to bad parenting - it takes time). They can be easily tricked by these F2P-advertisements.

     

    Parents are liable for their children. Therefore if you are a family-mother or -father this will affect you. Having the EU setting a distinct and more transparent declaration for F2P is to protect all of them - which is undoubtly in need.

    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?

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    F2P games should have to state how much it would cost the average player a month to access all content. That in itself would force the companies in question to be a bit more honest in their pricing, and also give players a better understanding of what their getting into. The same should also apply to P2P games. Leaving players to find out the hard way just how high the pay walls are in a game is wrong. image
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Member EpicPosts: 6,130
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88
    Originally posted by cowhead
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    You already have that protection. It's called You. You choose what to play. You choose what to spend money on. You take responsibility for your choices. You are the first, last and only protection you need. If you cannot/will not protect yourself from something as unimportant as video games; heaven help you. You're not long for this world.

     

    I partly agree and disagree. It seems to be a misconception that this is about adults only - for example a 21 year-old man having a job and income that only he is responsible for. In this case I wholeheartly agree with you.

     

    I encourage the EU to do this nonetheless because: look on the streets. I see children in kindergarten who already have the newest iPhone or at least a Smartphone of any kind. Those children are still learning what money is and what it means (this doesn't magically come overnight or is due to bad parenting - it takes time). They can be easily tricked by these F2P-advertisements.

     

    Parents are liable for their children. Therefore if you are a family-mother or -father this will affect you. Having the EU setting a distinct and more transparent declaration for F2P is to protect all of them - which is undoubtly in need.

    I couldn't disagree with this more. Do you even realize what you're saying? You're saying that, basically, because parents don't know how to be parents, the govenment, or some third party agency, should step in and take care of their kids. Do you know how ridiculous this sounds? 

     

    Here's the problem with this all. We do this ALL THE TIME! Unfortunately this doesn't prepare anyone for real life. Anything that's "Free" always comes with a catch. I entered a draw for a "Free" car around the holidays (because I'm an idiot) and I won a free dinner!!! Oh, and there's a short presentation from this meat company. Oh, and just by going I get like a $600 Home Depot gift card! Guess what, I didn't go. Why? Because I know that "Free" dinner is going to end up costing me more than $600. In fact, I'll probably end up walking out of there with a stretched ass and $2000 less in my bank account because if I don't buy something they're not letting me walk out. Same thing goes for these "Free Weekend Getaway" deals or "Free Vacation" deals. Sure, there is the odd person that gets caught up in it but, for the most part, people should know what they're getting into. Oh, or just get rid of all of these "Free" things also. Oh, and what about gmail? Technically it's free, but Google has record of every single thing you've ever talked about in every conversation that you've ever had with someone over email. Oh, and don't think that information is kept locked away somewhere. It's used regularly. Just watch the Google Ads that pop up for you. 

     

    It's like the whole peanut butter debate. I'm really sorry, but if your child has an allergy to peanut butter what do you think is the best solution for them? Banning peanut butter from schools altogether or making them understand that they can't eat anything that anyone else gives them because if it has something in it that they're allergic to, they might DIE!? What do you think is the better life lesson? Instead, we ban peanut butter from schools, essentially creating a society of less informed grown-ups. Grown-ups who assume that everyone has taken precautions to protect them. 

     

    Same goes for this. I think that you'd be extremely hard-pressed to find a game which is free to play which actually requires you to pay something to progress. Primarily these games offer paid conveniences. Thing is, the majority of F2P MMORPGs don't squeeze their players for cash. Look at any mobile game with these timed "Energy" gates. Damn! I mean Candy Crush Saga makes about a million dollars a DAY! That is literally more than some countries' GDP. So I get that this is a problem, but I don't think that it's a problem with how we name things. If you called it Free to Download is it any different? No, it's how you get squeezed for money that's different. I think that they should leave it alone. Honestly, if people don't have the self-control to not sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into a game, they need more help than renaming what an industry calls it.

    Crazkanuk

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  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916

    As usual, the EU takes the lead over other regions in protecting it's citizens against predatory business practices !

    We pay more taxes here, but at least we get more value for our tax money... image

     

    If these initial "discussions" lead to eventual regulation, it will naturally be extended to all so-called "F2P" online games.

    Then we'll probably see the following changes:

    F2P*

      *Terms and conditions apply

     

    Of course, the "F2P*" part will be at the top of the page in 26pt bold text, and the T&C bit will be right at the bottom in 6pt text, but at least it's a start.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    As usual, the EU takes the lead over other regions in protecting it's citizens against predatory business practices !

    We pay more taxes here, but at least we get more value for our tax money... image

     

    If these initial "discussions" lead to eventual regulation, it will naturally be extended to all so-called "F2P" online games.

    Then we'll probably see the following changes:

    F2P*

      *Terms and conditions apply

     

    Of course, the "F2P*" part will be at the top of the page in 26pt bold text, and the T&C bit will be right at the bottom in 6pt text, but at least it's a start.

     

    This is for mobile games.  The "Install" button won't change, but there will be a popup that says the game includes in-app purchases before it downloads and installs, and the option to make purchases without having to enter your Apple/Google password will be removed.  "F2P" might become "F2D" and in "Free To Download" or "F2I" as in "Free To Install".

     

    No, that would make too much sense.

     

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

  • Cellarkid88Cellarkid88 Member UncommonPosts: 56
    Originally posted by CrazKanuk
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88
    Originally posted by cowhead
    Originally posted by Cellarkid88

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    You already have that protection. It's called You. You choose what to play. You choose what to spend money on. You take responsibility for your choices. You are the first, last and only protection you need. If you cannot/will not protect yourself from something as unimportant as video games; heaven help you. You're not long for this world.

     

    I partly agree and disagree. It seems to be a misconception that this is about adults only - for example a 21 year-old man having a job and income that only he is responsible for. In this case I wholeheartly agree with you.

     

    I encourage the EU to do this nonetheless because: look on the streets. I see children in kindergarten who already have the newest iPhone or at least a Smartphone of any kind. Those children are still learning what money is and what it means (this doesn't magically come overnight or is due to bad parenting - it takes time). They can be easily tricked by these F2P-advertisements.

     

    Parents are liable for their children. Therefore if you are a family-mother or -father this will affect you. Having the EU setting a distinct and more transparent declaration for F2P is to protect all of them - which is undoubtly in need.

    I couldn't disagree with this more. Do you even realize what you're saying? You're saying that, basically, because parents don't know how to be parents, the govenment, or some third party agency, should step in and take care of their kids. Do you know how ridiculous this sounds? 

     

    Here's the problem with this all. We do this ALL THE TIME! Unfortunately this doesn't prepare anyone for real life. Anything that's "Free" always comes with a catch. I entered a draw for a "Free" car around the holidays (because I'm an idiot) and I won a free dinner!!! Oh, and there's a short presentation from this meat company. Oh, and just by going I get like a $600 Home Depot gift card! Guess what, I didn't go. Why? Because I know that "Free" dinner is going to end up costing me more than $600. In fact, I'll probably end up walking out of there with a stretched ass and $2000 less in my bank account because if I don't buy something they're not letting me walk out. Same thing goes for these "Free Weekend Getaway" deals or "Free Vacation" deals. Sure, there is the odd person that gets caught up in it but, for the most part, people should know what they're getting into. Oh, or just get rid of all of these "Free" things also. Oh, and what about gmail? Technically it's free, but Google has record of every single thing you've ever talked about in every conversation that you've ever had with someone over email. Oh, and don't think that information is kept locked away somewhere. It's used regularly. Just watch the Google Ads that pop up for you. 

     

    It's like the whole peanut butter debate. I'm really sorry, but if your child has an allergy to peanut butter what do you think is the best solution for them? Banning peanut butter from schools altogether or making them understand that they can't eat anything that anyone else gives them because if it has something in it that they're allergic to, they might DIE!? What do you think is the better life lesson? Instead, we ban peanut butter from schools, essentially creating a society of less informed grown-ups. Grown-ups who assume that everyone has taken precautions to protect them. 

     

    Same goes for this. I think that you'd be extremely hard-pressed to find a game which is free to play which actually requires you to pay something to progress. Primarily these games offer paid conveniences. Thing is, the majority of F2P MMORPGs don't squeeze their players for cash. Look at any mobile game with these timed "Energy" gates. Damn! I mean Candy Crush Saga makes about a million dollars a DAY! That is literally more than some countries' GDP. So I get that this is a problem, but I don't think that it's a problem with how we name things. If you called it Free to Download is it any different? No, it's how you get squeezed for money that's different. I think that they should leave it alone. Honestly, if people don't have the self-control to not sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into a game, they need more help than renaming what an industry calls it.

     

    Ok so I hint at "children need time to learn what money means and this is not due to bad parenting but a learning process" => you come up with "that is bad parenting and children should know instantly about money because of blackmagic".

     

    I say "this is not limited to adults" => you counter with an example featuring an adult with experience in these money-matters.

     

    We have stated already that this is not limited to MMOs or games but apps in general => you fixate your argument to games.

     

    I leave this here as it is.

     

     

    PS.: this is not about peanut butter.

    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?

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