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Regulations for in-game purchases

01-26-2017, 05:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 907
Regulations for in-game purchases

Is there any regulations for in-game purchases? I just got royally ripped off for 10 quid on Clash Royale. 'High chance of legendary'- nope I got a series of weak cards (archer, X-bow, Pekka). In my mind that is deliberate, and not random, a ploy to get someone to pay more money to try and attain what they were after. 10 quid is a lot of money! I could have paid for 2 premium games on here.
In my mind if you pay this amount of money- random is not good enough. It should be a considerably high percentage chance of a 'legendary', and should examine what cards you actually have.

But I think I'm going to have to take it as lesson learnt but some right Cowboys on that App Store. I believe there should be regulations on these things.

Last edited by thumbs07; 01-26-2017 at 05:42 AM.
01-26-2017, 05:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 58
If you want Legendary cards only buy Legendary Chest in special offers.

01-26-2017, 06:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,484
In the West? Not really.
Japan made kompu gacha practices illegal a few years ago, see e.g. here: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/ja...l-games/525608

I vaguely recall that Japan and China had some legalisation initiatives ongoing that would force companies to display probabilities before purchase, but I cannot find any sources for it right away, and don't have the time to dig deeper currently.

And of course that's deliberate, what did you expect?
The chances to actually get highest tier items quite often are below 1% (again, need sources) . So "high chance" e.g. means "twice the normal chance" --> 2% . Rather impressive, no?

If you want regulations, contact your responsible government agency, get a campaign going, go into politics. That kind of thing
01-26-2017, 06:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 907
ah you know your stuff 'kompu gacha practises' that's interesting. I could raise an epetition I suppose.
01-26-2017, 07:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,484
Originally Posted by thumbs07 View Post
ah you know your stuff
Nah not really. Just a good memory (most of the time) and Google

And I was wrong, there is some stuff going on in the EU and US as well.
A few example sources:

And I just remembered the most prominent case, which was in no small part responsible to get the ball rolling in the EU and US: Smurfberries.
See e.g. here https://gigaom.com/2011/02/21/in-app...fberry-affair/ and here http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news...n-Smurfberries
Some parents even sued Apple: http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/971333
Googling for "smurfberries iap scandal" will give you a lot to read.

My take on that: If your child racks up ANY bill without your knowledge and approval, it's entirely your fault. Sure, screaming for the Nanny State(TM) to protect you is an option. But you know what? Just go away, learn to be responsible instead.

If you want to read up, better google for the full "in app purchases". A lot of stuff uses the IAP acronym, from aerospace to doctors to schools.

Last edited by Nullzone; 01-26-2017 at 07:11 AM.
01-26-2017, 07:10 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Europe, CET
Posts: 3,484
Ah, you're in the UK. Try your Office of Fair Trading if you want more regulations.
Here's their official "Principles for online and app-based games".
And a related article: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...app-purchasing

You can try Gamasutra, they should have a bunch of articles on the topic as well.
01-26-2017, 07:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 907
excellent, I should have thought of that the oft. Thanks for that.
01-27-2017, 08:46 PM
Same here! I bought diamonds in MU Origin hoping to get an epic pet but all I got is trash. I really want to have a garuda pet with 5 options and I already purchased 500$ worth of diamonds.
01-28-2017, 09:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 907
Thanks again Nullzone, here is a letter I wrote to trading standards:

I believe the former entity office of fair trading looked into 'in-app purchases' even compiling this document: https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...60/oft1519.pdf

The issue is with a mobile game entitled Clash Royale, a free game with in-app purchases. It is a popular multiplayer game which you have cards that you collect and play. The cards have different types of rarity- common, rare,epic and legendary. The legendary being the most sought after. The game provides random chests each day that you open and the cards (usually common or rare ) will add to your collection. Legendary is incredibly rare, possibly next to no chance. To compensate for this ,the game incents you every so often with some sort of deemed 'special offer' (as well as the general normal purchase ability of gems and gold). .

The game works that everyone is competing via 10 tiered arenas. The game is a good one- but it is deviously woven that to progress to the highest arenas you have to level up your cards which the in-game chest rewards are insufficient to provide the necessary gold and cards to realistically level them up. You are therefore necessary, or heavily incented to make in-app purchases at this point to acquire the additional resources to make progression. (People at later progressions have spent near 200)

My particular issue is -when you are paying so much money- which for me could been in the region of 80, but more key in this case the last 2 purchases 10-20, 'random' is not good enough. An ingame text describes a 'super magical chest' as a 'very high chance of a legendary card'.Purchasing two of these super magical chests which the special offer was for 9.99 including gold and gems, the reward was I believe deliberately poor cards (no legendary also),(You have poor cards, you will spend another 10 to get another)..
Notably Japan have ruled against such games deemed as 'kompu gacha' games. I believe there have been intiatives to force companies to display probabilities before purchases.
My argument is that the game should guarantee a legendary for that price, or that it should make a computation to at least give the player useful cards for this amount of money.
it maybe sour grapes or whatever but 10 a lot of money and it definitely adds up. I mean on the one hand they could have a case its essentially no different from say a fruit machine. But on the other hand if that is the case where indeed purchases constitute gambling, then the number of kids playing makes it quite dubious.