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freemium games are nasty, manipulative and similar to gambling

(40 Posts)
lhldn Tue 18-Nov-14 13:02:07

OK I might be pretty slow on the uptake of this.

It I've recently had a go on Kim kardiashian and clash of clans. Both of these games are free to download, addictive but incredibly time consuming unless you pay money. They design the games to be very limiting to people that dont pay money.

A truly disgusting model, preying on people's tendency toward addictiveness and exploiting that weakness to the full. I believe such games should be re-categorized as gambling*, and made subject to the very same laws, restrictions ans regulations as every form of gambling.

*Strictly speaking it may not be gambling, I realize that, but the way it operates, the psychological effect it has on people, etc., in effect the similarities are eery.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Tue 18-Nov-14 13:11:37

Buying a lot of things could be deemed addictive. Advertising is designed to make you want something. It is all exploitative, and I'm not sure why these games are any worse. If you find it hard for yourself then get the truly free games, or buy one outright.

OraProNobis Tue 18-Nov-14 13:14:39

I have to say OP that you sound like a right barrel of giggles. ALL internet games are like this from Farmville to the Kardashians. What puzzles me most is why anyone would want to play or fund any single thing that gave that ghastly bunch any more publicity. Why? Are we to believe you actually like the Kardashians?

lhldn Tue 18-Nov-14 13:16:25

Well I think these games are bad as you can literialy send thousands in a couple of hours on them. Is farmvile the same as this? Never played it, do remember annoying people sending stuff on Facebook about it though

youareallbonkers Tue 18-Nov-14 13:16:54

that's like complaining someone gave you a free car and it costs you to put petrol in. Just don't play them or just play the free versions

OraProNobis Tue 18-Nov-14 13:25:33

This is nonsense OP. Abject nonsense. You could spend thousands in Tesco if you wanted to - do you want supermarkets made illegal or declared 'gambling dens'? I'm not seeing your logic at all. If you are saying that YOU cannot control yourself then you are seeking help in the wrong place.

avocadotoast Tue 18-Nov-14 13:48:41

It's nothing like gambling (except that you're probably going to get nothing back for your money, I guess).

I read a review of one of these games recently where someone was complaining that it had "made" her spend $200 hmm

Nobody forces you to play these games, let alone to pay money to play them. Yes it's annoying if you can barely do anything without spending, but just uninstall it and find a different game! I've played a few of these games and very rarely buy anything, it's not that hard.

sliceofsoup Tue 18-Nov-14 13:59:19

To me the problem seems to be more peoples lack of self control.

I play candy crush and I used to play farmville. I allow myself a couple of pounds now and again and once thats done its done. If an adult is unable to self limit themselves in this way then I don't see how that is the game makers fault. And parents should be supervising their children.

The games are manipulative, but so is advertising which is all around us constantly.

Bulbasaur Tue 18-Nov-14 14:01:58

So don't play them?

Freemiums are, whether you like it or not, the best business model for a game. It's how companies make the most money off an app. Serious users will spend the money, non-serious ones won't.

Not every freemium makes it impossible to get to the next step without in store help, like Candy Crush. Some do extra features or levels.

In anycase, you can spend hundreds in less than an hour on Amazon gold box deal section too. The key is self control.

hoppus Tue 18-Nov-14 14:05:05

Just don't put your card details into your account if you can't trust yourself not to spend real money. It isn't actually easy to spend cash on apps by accident.

It's nothing at all like gambling, I live with an (ex) gambling addict.

BeyondTheLimits Tue 18-Nov-14 14:06:11

Have you been watching south park, op? wink

OraProNobis Tue 18-Nov-14 14:08:50

I've just reached level 431 on Candy Crush without spending even one penny on it.

<<<has no life>>>

lhldn Tue 18-Nov-14 19:07:47

that's like complaining someone gave you a free car and it costs you to put petrol in. Just don't play them or just play the free versions

Not really. Its like someone giving you a free virtual car but you have top pay each time you want to brake, accerate and change gear. Where is the free version of clash?

fluffling Tue 18-Nov-14 19:15:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Audeca Tue 18-Nov-14 19:50:40

It depends on the game. As long as progress is genuinely achievable through play without having to make a purchase then YABU.

YANBU when it comes to some of the more dodgy games and developers out there (some of whom are currently being investigated by the OFT.

For what it's worth Google has stopped allowing games that have in app purchases to be listed as 'free' in the Play store after the EU got involved. Would imagine Apple are doing something similar as well.

CatKisser Tue 18-Nov-14 19:54:17

Totally disagree. Get some willpower. It's a GAME! I'd complain if I was charged money in a misleading way but actually I just play the games and manage to restrain myself from spending money on them.

MrsPiggie Tue 18-Nov-14 19:55:09

You are an adult and should be able to make up your own mind if you want to spend money on in-game purchases or not. Or in fact if you want to play free games at all. Obviously the game developers have to make money somehow. If you don't agree with the business model, buy paid games.

lhldn Tue 18-Nov-14 19:58:46

ERM the main players of these games are youngsters. From the few I've played its difficult to win against people unless you pay real money for extras, like on clash and asphelt 8. These real money purchases are shoved in your face at every opportunity.

CatKisser Tue 18-Nov-14 20:00:58

My year sixes all play Clash of Clans, as do I, and from our conversations I gather they manage to not rack up huge bills on their parents' credit cards. Maybe it's not as important to them as it is to you. Being a mildly amusing game and all.

InvaderZim Tue 18-Nov-14 20:03:43

I'm on Clash of Clans and I've never paid a penny! It's plenty easy to play against other people on that game. I won't play HayDay though (by the same games company) which I found far more exploitative and obvious in asking for cash.

They are all different though.

bloodyteenagers Tue 18-Nov-14 20:05:46

My youngest plays clash of clans.
He has won quiet a bit, and I can assure you that nothing has ever been spent.
Same with millions of other games - farmville, candy crush, simpsons, puzzle chef, kitchen scramble etc. All played freely in our house. All levelling up nicely, and not a single penny ever spent.
It's called will power. It's called parents being in charge and having the balls to say no and stick to it.

Trills Tue 18-Nov-14 20:06:23

I can spend literally thousands in a couple of hours on Amazon.

Is it nasty and manipulative?

Yes, probably, because it shows me "things it thinks I might like".

lhldn Tue 18-Nov-14 20:22:26

Well someone must be playing for clash.

It averages 0.30 cents a day per user or 107.5 a year.
thinkgaming.com/app-sales-data/1/clash-of-clans/

CatKisser Tue 18-Nov-14 20:24:56

Perhaps people with the inclination to do so?
Why the assumption the game must be at fault?

pointythings Tue 18-Nov-14 20:29:33

I play a few of these - though I agree about Hay Day, DD2 has given it up because she said it was too obvious they wanted money. She's 11 by the way - if she can be savvy about it, so can other people.

And I'm stuck on level 737 on Candy Crush and haven't paid a penny. You just have to be patient.

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