UK Hammers Down On Bad In-App Purchase Practices

The British Office of Fair Trading warned that several free-to-play games are utilizing "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices to which children may be particularly susceptible."

The office reported numerous areas of concern regarding in-App purchases. In general, the office found that there is a lack of transparency regarding available purchases and there is no clear distinction between in-game currency and real money.

Moreover, the office found that some games employ aggressive physiological tactics to entice kids to make purchases. For example, some games imply that the kid would be letting his in-game pet down if he didn't buy it some items.

According to the Office of Fair Trading, these practices "are likely to breach consumer protection law and that companies in the market need to implement changes to ensure full compliance with their legal obligations."

Taking matters into its hand, the office has drafted 8 principle points that clarify the law to developers. "Once they are finalized, we will expect the industry to follow them, or risk enforcement action."

The full report can be found here.

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