Many games these days offer a wide range of things to buy over the internet, be it a quirky little add-on or even a mini expansion (EA’s Mass Effect Series for example). Recently the number of ‘Free To Play’ games has dramatically increased with games such as Star Wars, RIFT and many others offering a much better ‘Free To Play’ option to consumers, which allow you some, if not all aspects of the game for you to play without spending anymore than you did in getting the actual game, which was free of course.
This being said, it seems that the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has written to companies offering free web or app-based games, seeking information on in-game marketing to children. This is merely the first step in an ongoing investigation that could prove to be a waste or time, but it could also change the way Free To Play games are made, marketed and sold in general.
Personally, I think this whole thing revolves around a few kids getting a bit ‘over the top’ with their daddy’s credit card and parents are screaming ‘foul play’. If you are stupid enough to leave your card details within “point, click and bought” distance of your child you kind of deserve to be screwed out of money.
However, one might question if this would put games such as League of Legends, which is famous for its Micro-transaction deals, into the crosshairs as they too say they are “Free To Play”.