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'Pay to play' games warning

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing.

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Watchdog's guidelines for online gaming industry

The OFT has released eight principles for 'pay to play' online game developers, which it plans to begin enforcing in April next year.

They include:

  • Games should display clear, accurate, up-front information about the costs associated with a game before consumers download it
  • Games should provide clear contact details for the business - which should respond rapidly to consumer complaints
  • Games should not give false impressions that payments are an integral part of the way the game is played if that is not the case
  • Games should not include aggressive practices, or ones that exploit a child's inexperience, such as implying a character would be disappointed if they did not spend money

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