Lately developers have been pushing in-app purchases. Games that were once paid have gone free-to-play, meaning that if there are additional features or cosmetic gear that players wanted to unlock, they’d have to spend money to unlock them, which in turn could actually lead to gamers spending more than they would have liked in the first place.
In fact we have seen how kids have unwittingly racked up bills in the thousands over these purchases. Well it seems that the Italian authorities aren’t huge fans of in-app purchases either and have recently investigating Apple, Google, Amazon, and Gameloft over how their freemium apps are misleading customers.
According to the regulators, “Consumers could wrongly believe that the game is entirely free and, in any case, that they would know in advance the full costs of the game. Moreover, insufficient information seems to be provided to consumers about the settings needed to stop or limit the purchases within the app.”
Gameloft has responded to the investigation by stating that they will be looking into this. However as far as Apple is concerned, they have recently added labels in the iTunes App Store which shows which apps has in-app purchases, but we guess to the Italian regulators, that isn’t enough. The Italian authorities expect this investigan to span over the next 7-8 months, and if found guilty, the companies they are investigating could be fined around 5 million Euros.