After being smacked with a $32.5M minimum order from the FTC to refund consumers for unauthorized in-app purchases, Apple has taken the step of removing free-to-play games from the App Store. The Redmond-based giant replaced the “FREE” button to “GET” for games that are F2P, but feature in-app purchases.
Games that are completely free-to-play will not be affected. The issue for large companies with app markets such as Google and Amazon initially started as an issue for parents. There were a number of games on these mobile markets that allowed for players to get various bonuses, advance further, or get additional content by paying real world currency.
With few effective safeguards in place to halt younger players from just purchasing what the mentioned content. As a result some parents ended up with paying out hundreds and thousands of dollars. The issue wasn’t just native to U.S and regulated by the Federal Trade Commission as European commissions have stepped in on similar situations.
Also included in the $32.5 million order (and Google’s $19 million order) the FTC has requested that the company strengthen its policies on the in-app purchases. Google has already taken steps to do away with the “Free” label in the European market.