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Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of Fair

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Regulator prepared to take "enforcement action" if games breach fairness standards

The Office of Fair Trading has contacted a number of games developers and publishers as part of a major new investigation to determine whether existing free-to-play games are acting entirely within the law.... read more

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Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of Fair

Postby StuM » 12 Apr 2013, 00:35

Go OFT!!! :D
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Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of Fair

Postby sibear » 12 Apr 2013, 00:45

Excellent news. Hopefully this will spell the end for so called free to play games because let's face it, they are far from free and to get the level of content you would from a retail game can cost ridiculous amounts. As OFT have described the rules it sounds like the majority of non 18 rated games breech regulations.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby diablomaster000 » 12 Apr 2013, 01:11

If this passes then dlc should be banned also if it detracts from the overall experience without it.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby Cogglesz » 12 Apr 2013, 03:05

sibear wrote:Excellent news. Hopefully this will spell the end for so called free to play games because let's face it, they are far from free and to get the level of content you would from a retail game can cost ridiculous amounts. As OFT have described the rules it sounds like the majority of non 18 rated games breech regulations.

Agreed but its a shame what happened to free to play, before there was a ton of good quality MMO's that didn't cost a penny to play (back in 2003 upwords to 2007 i think), of course many have bit the dust now like a personal favourite of mine called Endless Online, it would be good to see those days come back, if this pulls through and gets rid of those pay to win games that just constantly shove weird currencies to buy advantages then that would be a big bonus.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby richomack360 » 12 Apr 2013, 06:17

Excellent news - first stop, that prat from Crytek :)

I am currently playing a card based game on IS and it works out you would need to spend about 1.50 to obtain the better cards, there are 200 cards on offer.....how is that right?

Free to play is a vile boil on the arse of gaming - hopefully the OFT will force the companies to offer a less aggressive fermium model (almost like a demo if sorts) alongside a fixed, one off, purchase model.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby Mmmmgrolsch » 12 Apr 2013, 06:47

This is indeed excellent news! Bout time they've stood up and took notice of the scam.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby Agent75 » 12 Apr 2013, 08:02

Free to play games that then require payment for this and that, it's basically a limited free to play game. Laughable. I most be the only gamer in the world that has never paid for DLC. It's a mugs game.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby Jingee » 12 Apr 2013, 08:16

Best news all week. EA et al, like to big up F2P, saying consumers "want it". What they've really done, is take the figures from The Simpsons Tap-Out, and the ridiculous fee's kids build up, and pass it on as a fact that people want F2P pointing at the money people spend on it ti justify themselves. This is only going to work as a detriment to the industry as a whole, as gaming will start to become synonymous with massive bills the kids have wracked up. Good on the OFT.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby MrPirtniw » 12 Apr 2013, 08:23

What's that sound? Do you hear it?

...

That is the sound of all the rip off Pay to Win game devs collectively filling their undergarments with arse butter.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby Balladeer » 12 Apr 2013, 08:57

This is great, but personally I'm going to wait for something to be done about it before I dance around naked on the rooftops singing "God Save the OFT".
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby richomack360 » 12 Apr 2013, 09:04

MrPirtniw wrote:What's that sound? Do you hear it?

...

That is the sound of all the rip off Pay to Win game devs collectively filling their undergarments with arse butter.


I hope so, but the BBC this morning did their best to trvialise it and not actualyl explore what the core problem with this cancerous growth is - the argument, in their story, was that an unsupervised boy spent almost £1700 on a game within an hour, but it was all boiled down (through an export called something Cheeseman) that it required better supervision.

My argument with remortgage-to-win gaming is that the OVERALL experience, to get everything out of the game, costs more than a stand alone packaged disc.....and sorry, but the "higher development costs" argument doesn't work on an IOS game - perhaps a remortgage-to-win console game...but not some pissy game that would of felt embarassed appearing on the NES.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby rhyfel » 12 Apr 2013, 10:02

this could be a good time for the industry to stop using the "free to play" name and rename it pay to play or better still outlaw the lot.
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby EvilWaterman » 12 Apr 2013, 10:09

F2P p**ses me off. Its technically a game that, a few years ago, would have cost 30 40 quid but now the same game on an F2P basis could cost hundreds of pounds.

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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby LiamT » 12 Apr 2013, 10:23

Agent75 wrote:Free to play games that then require payment for this and that, it's basically a limited free to play game. Laughable. I most be the only gamer in the world that has never paid for DLC. It's a mugs game.


DLC isnt necessarily a bad thing. i remember buying all the DLC for fallout 3 giving me many hours of additional gameplay (more than many full games) for about £10. bargain.

but there is unscrupulous DLC. ones that you really need to finish a game and ones where the content is on the disk yet you have to pay to unlock. this is immoral and wrong
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Re: Free-to-play schemes could be unlawful, warns Office of

Postby nathar » 12 Apr 2013, 10:30

I'm shocked that the worst company in America have behaved like this.
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