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Google won't call games with in-app purchases 'free' anymore

S. Prell, @SamPrell

In an era where video games can be sold as "free-to-pay" and/or "freemium" products, it's important to know what "free" really means. A "free" game might actually cost you nothing and generate revenue purely through in-game advertising, or it might be free to download, but in-game purchases can set you back quite the hefty sum. As they say, freedom isn't free. Thankfully, Google is here to help clarify the distinction.

Engadget reports that after the European Commission requested Google change the way it markets the apps shown on digital storefronts such as its Google Play market, the company responded that it would take several initiatives to keep consumers informed, including no longer allowing apps with in-app purchases to label themselves as "free."

Google said it would also implement guidelines for games and developers so that children would not be encouraged to buy items once in-game. Kind of makes you long for the days when kids would sneak some cash out of the parental stash to buy a phosphate from the drug store soda jerk, huh?
[Image: Google]

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