Free-to-play games will no longer be able to listed as free on the Google Store, the European Commission has announced.
As part of a move to prevent misleading advertising, Google will stop using “free,” to refer to titles with in app purchases. While the business model itself is fine, the Commission said, many games are marketed in a way that misleads consumers about the real costs
The Commission is very supportive of innovation in the app sector. In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it’s essential for app-makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models.
This is the result of a series of requests from the Commission last year, which saw it requesting changed policies from both Apple and Google in the wake of complaints across Europe, many in regards to children purchasing in app content. The Commission says that “regrettably,” Apple has yet to make any changes to its own policy.
Google intends to finalise its changes to the marketplace by September.
It’s currently unknown if Google intends to roll out these changes worldwide, although currently only the EU region has been affected.