EU wants to change how devs use "Free-To-Play"

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Gahars, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey

    If an EU Commission has its way, it looks like developers and publishers won't be free to say "Free-to-Play!" very much longer.
    :arrow:GamesIndustry International

    Of course, there's nothing stopping developers from switching over to "Free-to-Pay" and/or "Fee-To-Play."

    That's not all, of course. They also want developers to remove direct calls for purchases in games aimed at children (Now how are we going to sell all those smurfberries?). The most outrageous demand, of course, is that purchases should require the explicit consent of customers. Utter lunacy, I tell you.

    Now, this doesn't mean that the moniker will disappear entirely, just that developers will have to be a little more forward with their advertising (or throw around a lot more qualifiers, anyway).

    Who knows if other regions will follow suit. It's a nice start, but ideas are one thing - application is something else entirely.
    Tattorack, WhiteMaze, Qtis and 2 others like this.
  2. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

    Oct 19, 2013
    Gaza Strip
    The purchases are entirely optional and if the customers end up on buying those things it's only their own fault for doing so. I've never spent money on Free to Play games because I have always tried to keep it as it's advertised, Free to Play.

    It's just like those customers from Apple complaining that their kids made the purchases and want to be refunded... when have people become so dumb.
  3. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 14, 2010
    It's called human psychology and dirty marketing tricks. People WILL buy these things, even though they may end up regretting it later.
    CamulaHikari, 2ndApex and Nightwish like this.
  4. Mario92

    Mario92 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Feb 20, 2010
    OK just asking is there actually fully free-to-play titles and if we are talking about flash games and such were they ever called free-to-play?
    Free-to-play games are always free to play as name suggest and they have always had some kind of way to actually make money.

    Then again most PC free-to-play games are entirely other level from facebook/mobile stuff.
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    The EU Commission could probably be trusted to organise a piss up in a brewery which places them above an awful lot of politicians.

    Now if they had managed to do something about my "unlimited" broadband all those years ago I would be less hesitant.

    What I will be curious to see is their definition of the term game, both in general and because there are a lot of other things adopting the model that are not necessarily games.
  6. Breadwin

    Breadwin Advanced Member

    Jan 14, 2014
    United States
    The should call it "Free to Play and Free to Pay" as in there is no cost to play the game but you are free to pay for micro transactions to add to the game lol

    Personally i think it is a good thing i hope it goes through and they kick the ass of developers like Candy Crush those sons of beotches
    2ndApex and jalaneme like this.
  7. Kalker3

    Kalker3 GBAtemp Fan

    Apr 5, 2013
    Just call them freemium games or Pay-to-Win games.

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 10, 2012
    That's baby steps, but hey it's something.
    What they should be doing is regulating that market in the same way casinos are.
    That entire model is built upon 0.15% paying customers who, more often than not, are children playing with their parent's phone, or vulnerable people who are essentially gambling addicts (1 purchase every two hours, that's what I would call an addict) under another game (the psychological shenanigans pulled are indeed the same as in gambling, except your chances at winning/enjoying something is an absolute 0%).
    They have psychanalists called "monetization designers" who are essentially designing the app to be as much un-enjoyable as possible, but sucking the soul of the costumer enough into tricking him to pay in hope for ... an enjoyment ideal.
    They call this: searching among the fish for "whales".
    Fuck them.
    Fuck mobile gaming and all it stands for (IAP of all kinds, "social" "games", mountains of stinking shit set to "replace traditional gaming").

    I hope they ban F2P and IAPs outright...
    like Japan did with gashapon but with a step further (gashapon made the gambling part shamelessly obvious "spend lots of cash and buy lots of cards (actually 256x300 crappy jpeg images) and you could end up with duplicates of ones you own but the aim is getting "rare cards" "... now iaps are more subtle but the same essentially).
    2ndApex, NEP and jalaneme like this.
  9. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

    Nov 27, 2006
    United States
    I don't see where it's the govt's business to protect stupid people from themselves.

    Now, if the game is outright misleading and making you think you're spending in game currency instead of real world money, that'd be a problem, but I haven't seen evidence of that.
  10. jalaneme

    jalaneme Female Gamer

    Nov 27, 2006
    i still don't understand why people defend free to play, it's a evil practice and needs to die, the microtransactions are not optional, the game intentionally gimps gameplay to make you spend money to proceed and there needs to be laws to protect people from things like that, capcom are heavily relying on free to play and there are now full retail games that have this horrible practice, this is why it needs to stop.
    ferofax, 2ndApex, GHANMI and 3 others like this.
  11. techboy

    techboy GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Mar 15, 2009
    United States
    Many of the so-called "free"-to-play games I've tried are also pay-to-win.

    I would love to see something like this in the USA.

    Unlike this proposal though, I don't care if it offers paid content as an option. What I do want is a requirement that free-to-play games also be 100% free-to-win, and without leaving a free player with a significantly increased difficulty, limited game play, or some other disadvantage.
    calmwaters likes this.
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    What you describe is one of the, possibly more popular, executions of free to play, one that I would be happy enough to see vanish tomorrow. Free to play as a concept, which is to say the bulk of the game given away for free with the money being made using some form of funds exchange that result in differences in game, holds a lot of promise as far as monetising games to allow them to continue to be developed and maintained and should very much be allowed to continue.

    Really? Because I thought that was one of their two big jobs (the other being public works).
    ferofax, Nightwish and Gahars like this.
  13. Squirps

    Squirps Official Squirps of GBATemp.netâ„¢

    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    The corner in that dark alley.

    Personally, I feel as though Team Fortress 2 is an example of a free-to-play model done right; you are able to unlock ALL of the weapons available and gameplay is solely based on skill; the only benefit the player receives by paying money is higher chance of rare drops, cosmetics, and increased backpack size (which is only necessary to make room for more cosmetics).
  14. Deboog

    Deboog GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 22, 2013
    United States
    Long overdue imo. Putting"free" in an advertisement that shows off parts of a product that are certainly not "free" is false advertising.
    iQue, jalaneme and Nightwish like this.
  15. MarkDarkness

    MarkDarkness Deliverator

    GBAtemp Patron
    MarkDarkness is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Dec 17, 2009
    This is actually awesome.
  16. matpower

    matpower A Hero of Justice

    May 5, 2012
    Microtransactions are a bad curse that plagues the Gaming Market right now.
    The only real Free-To-Play game that I know is TF2, you can use money to buy stuff, but you can get that stuff using your skills.
  17. Nightwish

    Nightwish GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 16, 2013
    This is the kind of stuff that I like about the EU. Now if only the it decided to go back to sane economic policies it might actually keep being a nice place.
  18. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

    Jul 25, 2012
    United States
    Consumer protection. That I like.
    jalaneme and codezer0 like this.
  19. Ashtonx

    Ashtonx n0l1f3

    Oct 31, 2013
    Damn good job eu, i hated this bs marketing word, bunch of people get it cos its free and then spent hundreds of dollards on items ingame forgetting they could just as easily pay for way better games.
    Marketing in recent ways feels like scam and it should be controlled.
  20. R4iFanboi

    R4iFanboi Advanced Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    United States
    Micro-transaction game developers/publishers:

    This is for you.
    calmwaters likes this.