"Free-to-play" Misleading Advertising in Europe

It has been announced that the European Commission is to meet to discuss the use of the term "Free to Play", with the commission wanting to stop the term if they have in-app purchases.

It has been announced that the European Commission is to meet to discuss the use of the term "Free to Play", with the commission wanting to stop the term if they have in-app purchases. With complaints having risen sharply from consumers who have spent or unknowingly spent a fortune in game, it's clear the European Commission wants to do something about it. A recent case in the United Kingdom saw a teenager spend up to £5,000 on Fifa player cards: a bill his mother didn't know about.

In some respects, I have absolutely no sympathy for people who raise these complaints. They're either stupid or ignorant of their own children's behaviours on the products they're playing. The important question however, is if the European Commission aren't happy with the name and choose to do something about it, what will we call these products? Buy to Play?

"Consumers and in particular children need better protection against unexpected costs from in-app purchases," consumer policy commissioner Neven Mimica said in a statement. "National enforcement authorities and the European Commission are discussing with industry how to address this issue which not only causes financial harm to consumers but can also put at stake the credibility of this very promising market. Coming up with concrete solutions as soon as possible will be a win-win for all."

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The only game to have distracted Lewis away from MMOG's over the last 15 years was Pokemon Red. Despite that blip, Lewis has worked his way through countless games in the genre in search of something that comes close to his much loved (and long time dead) Neocron. Having written for several gaming networks before Ten Ton Hammer, Lewis likes to think he knows a thing or two about what makes an MMOG and its player-base tick.

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