App Store Changes Labeling of Free-to-Play Apps
Apple has decided that calling games "free-to-play" was misleading and changed its App Store wording.
As everyone knows, there are many mobile games that are labeled as "free-to-play" that have hidden in-app purchases as freemium content. Some of these games are easy to play without these purchases, while others are almost impossible to play without them. Polygon reports that Apple has decided to swap out the word "FREE" from its listings on the App Store and replaced it with the word "GET." Apple has also added an "In-App Purchases" disclaimer under these deceiving titles.
The reason for the change was pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, U.K. Office of Fair Trading, the European Commission, and many other official bureaus. These regulators have been pressuring Apple, Google, Amazon and others to change the way they market free-to-play games that push in-app purchases.
Apple seems to be the first to make a change to the way that they are promoting these games with Google likely close behind them. These two companies recently had to pay a good amount of settlement money over the controversy of in-app purchases. Amazon has refused to settle, but was also hit with similar complaints from FTC.
Even 'South Park' got in on the action with one of its episodes, which touched on how "Fremium isn't Free" with all these in-app purchases and microtransactions. You know it's a debatable thing when 'South Park' has an episode parodying it.