In light of the UK’s OFT (Office of Fair Trading) ending investigation on the ethics of free-to-play, Rovio has released a statement affirming that they use the free-to-play model ethically and continue to do so.
The OFT found in their study of free to play games that they often employed ‘unfair and aggressive’ tactics to get children to make in-app purchases. These tricks were designed in such a way that children were particularly susceptible, and included:
- blurring the line between real money and in-game currency
- a lack of transparency about game prices, and other information
- encouraging children to share the games to each other in such a way that they would be fooled into making purchases
Rovio EVP Jami Laes affirmed that they adhere to the general principles set forward by OFT, stating outright that
The only way to do free-to-play is ethically. Accidental purchases benefit no-one
He went on to point out that Rovio makes clear safeguards for children and works to make adults aware of these in-app purchases.