EC questions use of ‘free’ in ‘free-to-play’

The ability to advertise free-to-play titles as ‘free’ is under threat thanks to a new European Commission initiative.

The EC is meeting with consumer groups in the UK, France and Italy and major market players such as Apple and Google to discuss consumer concerns regarding the F2P market.

Chief amongst the concerns is the use of the term ‘free’. The EC argues that the word should not be associated with games that incur costs at any point after the initial download.

It adds that games should not directly encourage kids to buy items and that consumers should be adequately informed” about payment arrangements. It also questions the ability of apps to make purchases without explicit consent.

The EC suggestions go further than the Office of Fair Trading’s UK recommendations published last month which encouraged greater transparency about payments and a tightening down on the ease of which they can be made on mobile.

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