As increasing pressure builds over in-app purchases on children’s games, Google has decided to remove them from the “free” section of the Google Play store.
Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple have all come under fire from parents and government agencies over deceptive in-app purchases in children’s games which caused them to rack up huge bills.
Known as “freemium” apps, they are often free to download however, as you start playing or engaging with the app you need to pay in order to keep going. Purchases can also be made inside the app to collect tools needed for the game.
The argument has also been made that these in-app purchase options are deceiving, and that many children had no idea they were actually spending money by clicking on the option.
While companies like Apple, refunded customers who complained, Google is taking it one step further by agreeing to remove apps that offer in-app purchases from the “free” section.
The change by Google comes as the European Commission begins to crack down on app stores over in-app purchases which caused some parents to receive charges of over a thousand dollars.
Apple has also made changes to apps that are targeted towards children by making each in-app purchase protected by a user name and password.
Google is doing the same, which means that in order to make an in-app purchase, children will need to get their parents consent.
In app purchases are big business for both Apple and Google however, it seems that now they will have to be more transparent and responsible when it comes to how they are advertised.