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

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178 posts found
  Nilenya

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 335

2/28/14 4:08:45 PM#141

it is probably a good thing that law makers decide to take a keener interest into online gaming of the fantasy variety. There is very little in place to represent the costumers interests.

 

Free to play should probably not be used as title for games that have limited free play. - Perhaps it would be a better idea to find another label for those games that use micro transactions.

 

Regardless of whats in a name I think it is a positive for us as gamers if the people who arent into our little hobby, were to educate themselves a bit, and try to understand the market. - I can't be the only one who has purchased a game that was in an unfinished/horrid/not-as-described-on-the-box state, where I just had to shrug and go; oh well.

 

The free to play description isnt really super important.

The way I see it, most people who play these games already understand the synergy between the free game and the part that is unlocked through purchase.

- I'd much rather see them adress some Quality Control issues on games, making it harder to release products that arent up to scratch. Imagine we had a group of unbiased people playtesting products; without trying to advertise their youtube/twitch/blog/website etc, but just playtested for the sake of quality control. Then there could be a real discussion about what to test for. But thats a different can of worms, but one I'd rather the EU spend their moonies on, rather than wether to disallow a label that the culture already understands.

Imagine if a game like AoC had been playtested by such an authority and been denied their release date based on not having a finished working pvp keeps - which it had advertised on the game box, or any number of other issues it had. - Other games are just as terrible in that regard. - Anyway, it wouldnt be more Quality control than what is in place for your physical leisure products. - But its completely alien to our genre.

  Mardukk

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1366

2/28/14 4:24:13 PM#142
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.

 

Hahaha, no kidding. There is so much wrong with this entire situation. A government entity being involved, their interpretation that these games arent free to play and on and on... Im sure people within the EU are thrilled that they are spending even three seconds on this.
  Krematory

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/15/08
Posts: 512

MMOHOLIC

2/28/14 4:37:04 PM#143
Originally posted by Mardukk
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.

 

Hahaha, no kidding. There is so much wrong with this entire situation. A government entity being involved, their interpretation that these games arent free to play and on and on... Im sure people within the EU are thrilled that they are spending even three seconds on this.

It's a case of misleading advertising, and I fully support it, the same way I would with any other product.

"EVE is likely the best MMORPG that you've never really understood or played" - Kyleran

  Smikis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/27/04
Posts: 1070

2/28/14 5:20:59 PM#144
Originally posted by CazNeerg

It's amazingly sad that the grasp of the English language in the EU is that poor.  I can't think of one F2P game that can't be played for free.

EDIT: If they can't see that "to play" is an appropriate qualification, they are the ones lacking in appropriate qualifications.

English language came from eu, so did 80% of NA population, go learn history

  daltanious

Elite Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 1694

2/28/14 5:47:22 PM#145
I agree with OP and hope many other states or unions will follow.
  Burntvet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2724

2/28/14 5:56:20 PM#146

People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

That's it.

How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

 

  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 959

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

2/28/14 6:04:10 PM#147
Originally posted by Nilenya

it is probably a good thing that law makers decide to take a keener interest into online gaming of the fantasy variety. There is very little in place to represent the costumers interests.

 

Free to play should probably not be used as title for games that have limited free play. - Perhaps it would be a better idea to find another label for those games that use micro transactions.

 

Regardless of whats in a name I think it is a positive for us as gamers if the people who arent into our little hobby, were to educate themselves a bit, and try to understand the market. - I can't be the only one who has purchased a game that was in an unfinished/horrid/not-as-described-on-the-box state, where I just had to shrug and go; oh well.

 

The free to play description isnt really super important.

The way I see it, most people who play these games already understand the synergy between the free game and the part that is unlocked through purchase.

- I'd much rather see them adress some Quality Control issues on games, making it harder to release products that arent up to scratch. Imagine we had a group of unbiased people playtesting products; without trying to advertise their youtube/twitch/blog/website etc, but just playtested for the sake of quality control. Then there could be a real discussion about what to test for. But thats a different can of worms, but one I'd rather the EU spend their moonies on, rather than wether to disallow a label that the culture already understands.

Imagine if a game like AoC had been playtested by such an authority and been denied their release date based on not having a finished working pvp keeps - which it had advertised on the game box, or any number of other issues it had. - Other games are just as terrible in that regard. - Anyway, it wouldnt be more Quality control than what is in place for your physical leisure products. - But its completely alien to our genre.

yes but who would be the ones to "decide" what quality is even amoung gamers we cant put 5 people in a room and get them to all agree, even games like rambo the game have had people defending it.

its not like quality control on food or buildings wheree the safety of the product is the main form of quality being inspected, its like trying to put quality control on art you cnat because its all opinion based, some of the greatest works in history look like crap to alot of modern people who dont know anything about that field.

so puting a quality control on gmes is almost impossable, but then agian it snot really required is it, because a smaret gamers know to learn about it before buying it and in this day and age its easyier then ever to do so, with all the reviews all over the place, and all the information youcna get on games before trying them, there really is no excuse for buying a bad game these days, aside from ones own mpatients or lack of careing enough to learn about it first.

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

2/28/14 6:38:33 PM#148

Maybe they will start to look hard at all virtual goods and services and how they're marketed and advertised. There is a whole world of injustice out there in the entertainment industry.

Hopefully they will also stop companies from charging monthly fees for digital goods and only allowing you to rent them

There should also be laws about selling digital virtual goods and then limiting access to them unless you pay more (eg: monthly sub fees to access digital content you've purchased via box fees, cash shops, plex, etc). Talk about predatory. Do people understand what sort of scam they're getting into with this?

How about virtual item loss? Companies shouldn't be allowed to destroy or cause the loss of virtual items people have paid for regardless of subscription status. How about resource loss in games like EVE, wurm, UO, and darkfall? Charging a fee and having virutal property destroyed is essentially a criminal scam.

Protection from predatory practices in the gaming industry should extend to every corner of the market not just marketing terms.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10417

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

2/28/14 8:44:08 PM#149
Originally posted by Burntvet

People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

That's it.

How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

 

 

They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

 

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  meilirs

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/11
Posts: 31

2/28/14 9:15:03 PM#150
Originally posted by lizardbones
Originally posted by Burntvet

People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

That's it.

How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

 

 

They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

 

Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

  Solar_Prophet

Elite Member

Joined: 11/10/13
Posts: 573

2/28/14 9:26:39 PM#151
Originally posted by meilirs
Originally posted by lizardbones
Originally posted by Burntvet

People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

That's it.

How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

 

 

They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

 

Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

Or you could actually be a parent  and explain to them that sometimes things are not always exactly as they appear, and thus prepare them for the (hopefully) long lives ahead of them... but I guess it's just easier to let the government raise your children, huh?

 

Today's message is brought to you by the Federal Reserve! Printing two million more dollars by the time you finish reading this post!

  Kyllien

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/13
Posts: 315

2/28/14 9:53:33 PM#152
Originally posted by Bacchira
EU should ban all F2P games!

EU logic doesn't actually work that way.  Instead of banning the F2P games, installing one F2P game must include a Game choice button that will also/or install any number of similar games.  Wait that is only for Microsoft and Internet Explorer/Windows Media Player.

  Kuinn

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/10/11
Posts: 1979

2/28/14 10:19:16 PM#153
F2P games that has even a single item on the cash shop that you cant acquire in any way by just playing the game, should be renamed into "free 2 start playing, ingame fees may apply" F2SPIFMA. Abomination title suited for such games.
  Kyllien

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/13
Posts: 315

2/28/14 10:22:25 PM#154
Originally posted by meilirs
Originally posted by lizardbones
Originally posted by Burntvet

People in here that are criticizing the decision, and saying you can log into this one for free, and play that one for free, are missing the bit from the EU announcement, where it specifically cites this is because of how such games are advertised.

The EU found that games that were advertized as free, were not free.

That's it.

How and what you can play, and "how free is it" doesn't even come into it.

It is a straight "truth in advertising" decision.

 

 

They also aren't talking about MMORPGs.  They are talking specifically about mobile and tablet games, especially those games marketed to children.

 

Yes, I have two kids in the house who have access to mobile games/apps so it's very important that there is protection for them not to be mislead into thinking things are free if they are not.

The correct pursuit should be against the platforms that allow even time limited, unfettered access to the pay system on a device.

Microsoft figured it out with the Windows Phone 8.

As far as Farmville and that lot of pay us $20 or more an hour in order to keep playing continuosly.  Those games should be banned anyway.   Nothing kills a game like planting a field of crops only to now have to wait a week of real time for the crops to be ready.  Unless you pay $1, $5, $15 or more for enough "Potions of instant rippining" to keep playing.  And that is only the most in your face pay wall.  Want to craft the new recipe?  Well you can only make it if you have these 4 ingredients that are all behind a paywall. 

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

3/01/14 2:11:15 AM#155

Originally posted by iridescence

Just because you and I know that if you really want to enjoy  most "free to play" games you're going to have to pay a significant amount of money doesn't make deceptive marketing OK. Companies are using the word "free" deliberately knowing that it will attract a lot of people who will then get invested in the game and be willing to pay.They're basically lying to people to get them to try their product in some of these cases. 

Would it be so bad for them to call these games "microtransaction funded" or something similar and more accurate rather than "free to play"? I'm glad this whole shady business is getting government scrutiny. I hope authorities over here follow suit. 

It's not going to deceive anyone with a functioning brain.  It's a technically accurate term.

Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

@Cazneerg,

Alot of this is actualy targeted at the mobile/tablet market and games that are heavly targeted toward children. The thing is alot of these Apps get away with bypassing the standard parental controls for paid applications because they label themselves as free and they find ways to allow kids to incurr charges without requiring password approval for those charges. So the parent ends up owing money even though the parent implimented the standard parental controls that should prevent the child from downloading any App that has a fee or doing anything in an App that should require a fee.

The parent expects the kid can't download any App that can incurr a fee because doing so requires the parents password....but the App bypasses that...... The parent expects that the App can't allow a purchase without inputting the parents password....the App bypasses that because instead of direct cash it charges "Smiley Face Points" which then get converted to cash later.

The 8 year old playing the game see's "Free" and thinks it actualy is Free...this gets confirmed when he's allowed to download the App without Dad's password. He then see's 4 "Smiley Face Points" for that snazy new sword...he doesn't realize that actualy means cash....and that gets confirmed when he doesn't get prompted for Dad's password when he makes the purchase, like he would with any other purchase that would be cash. 

Frankly, if a parent gives a kid a device that is setup in a way that it can even access the internet to download something without the parent doing it for them, that parent deserves to lose some money.  Any kid too young to understand how these apps work is a kid too young to give unsupervised access to the internet.

Originally posted by asmkm22

I don't think this is about semantics.  It's more about misleading marketing practices.  

That's the thing though; they aren't actually misleading anyone with an IQ above room temperature.

As far as "protecting children" goes, the children aren't in any danger, of any kind.  Lazy and/or clueless parents are in danger of losing some money because of their poor supervision of their kids, but the kids are going to be just fine.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  angerbeaver

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/15/06
Posts: 577

Games Played:Ultima OnlineRappelzLOTROWoWGWGW2SWTOR

3/01/14 2:19:12 AM#156
Originally posted by arieste

What's next?  I can't have a "Free" car because it doesn't come with a lifetime supply of gasoline?  Or a free slice of pizza because it doesn't include the required healthcare and gym membership?    

 

Very few things in the world are totally free without the chance that you'll either pay for it somehow or buy other things.  

"Free" cars from competition/lottery/games actually come with a price tag called taxes in some places.

kryles Xfire Miniprofile
  Retired

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/02/08
Posts: 703

3/01/14 2:23:41 AM#157
This is dumb. If I download a game and pay no money and can still level (like every single F2P game out there) then it's free. Sounds like someone got butt hurt in a pay to win game and this is the way they are retaliating . Grow up people.
  Asariasha

Elite Member

Joined: 8/05/11
Posts: 205

3/01/14 3:09:29 AM#158

Actually it is not dumb, but a needed move. Always keep in mind that other players do not have the experience you already gained when playing online games.

 

See, there exist games that are perfectly targeted on children. Let's take the game Howrse. It is published by Ubisoft and by its theme clearly is a game for female children. In this game the player can grow a horse. It plays pretty much like Tamagotchi. At a certain point your horse can become sick and no matter what actions you are going to take, it will die. Then, all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that you may revive your dead horse by spending € 1.-.

 

Such games perform psychological warfare against children. Children can be easily influenced and abusing strong feelings such as fear of loss in order to create revenue is immorality at its best. I was shocked when reading about this game mechanic and am very disappointed with Ubisoft, a company that I never put in line with immoral business practices.

 

As long as companies do not regulate themselves and stop utilizing such business practices, the legislature must act and restore an environement that protects children and customers.

 

However, what is dumb or let's better say wrong is that the whole games industry is put under general suspicion. Also, I'm not sure if regulating the usage of the term free-2-play will be enough. Marketers will quickly come up with another term and the blinky blinky commercials will still lure children into pocket money grabbing games. 

 

  Vrika

Elite Member

Joined: 10/03/05
Posts: 1988

3/01/14 3:50:28 AM#159

I think it's really needed legislation.

If you look at "free" games today, there are games like Wizard 101 telling that it's a "free online game for kids and adults to play", when in truth there is no way to proceed from starter areas unless you pay for the game. I'm old enough to remember the time when small free samples of the game were called "demos" or "trials", but now that are called "free games" to get more attention.

The gaming industry has failed, and because of that the legislation needs to step in and make sure that games start informing people of the costs a bit better.

  versulas

Elite Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 263

3/01/14 4:24:14 AM#160
Originally posted by Vrika

I think it's really needed legislation.

If you look at "free" games today, there are games like Wizard 101 telling that it's a "free online game for kids and adults to play", when in truth there is no way to proceed from starter areas unless you pay for the game. I'm old enough to remember the time when small free samples of the game were called "demos" or "trials", but now that are called "free games" to get more attention.

The gaming industry has failed, and because of that the legislation needs to step in and make sure that games start informing people of the costs a bit better.

The slippery buggers sprinted right along past the "free to try" era and became f2p before we even knew what happened...

Used to be if you hit a pre-endgame level cap before you had to dust off the credit card, it was clearly a trial.

Nowadays you can't swing a stick without hitting a game that advertises free with the "option to pay", without telling you that your options are: being able to finish your class story- or not.

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