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Update: Capcom refutes talk of Apple dispute

Thu 17 Feb 2011 11:33am GMT / 6:33am EST / 3:33am PST
MobileGames

"At no point have they expressed any displeasure" about Smurfs micropayments

Apple

Established in 1976, Apple is a multinational corporation (corporate headquarters based in California)...

apple.com

Update: Capcom has denied rumours of a rift with Apple. In a statement sent to PocketGamer, the publisher claimed that "We are in frequent communication with Apple, and at no point have they expressed any displeasure to any representatives of Capcom Mobile in regards to our handling of in-app purchases within Smurfs' Village."

The firm also said it had not heard of the aforementioned plans to tweak the login process, but "we welcome any update that would minimise inadvertent in-app purchases and improve customers' experience with our products."

Original:

Apple has allegedly issued a warning to Capcom regarding its free-to-play iOS game Smurfs' Village, which thanks to microtransactions has been a recent mainstay on the App Store's highest-grossing charts.

Recent media reports have held that some parents are concerned by the ease with which their children can buy virtual goods in the game, which is age-rated as 4+. One eight year old was found to have spent $1400 on in-game items and currency.

Some items sell for as much as $60, but can be bought automatically if one of the Apple device's users had logged into their iTunes account within the last fifteen minutes.

PocketGamer cites a "well-placed source" as claiming that Apple has been in touch with Capcom about the perceived problem, and that some refunds have been issued.

Additionally, the as-yet unconfirmed report suggests that Apple may soon require more frequent logins from users in order to limit repeat purchases.

Capcom's game does offer disclaimers warning users that real money is involved, plus the option for in-app purchases can be deactivated in iOS devices' settings.

2 Comments

Steve Ball
Software Engineer

18 5 0.3
This news saddens me.

I think it is abundantly clear that, when a so called 'freemium' game is charging up to 59.99 for virtual in-game content, it is no longer concerned with increasing the quality of game or making a fun experience for the player. It is all about pocket lining and getting as much money from the consumer, with as little work as possible.

Whatever tactics are being used to mislead, trick, cover up or even allow a player to willingly spend this sort of money on a supposedly 'free' and casual game are shameful. The fact that, in this instance the game is aimed at very young consumers is even more deplorable.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
I can't be the only person uncomfitable with a Freemium model being used in a game marketed at pre-teens, and as Steve pointed out, at up to 59 for some purchases it makes it so much worse.
Another gripe I have with freemium is that people end up paying a lot of money on a game that is of such low quality, you wouldn't pay the money to purchase it, but with adults at least that is their decision to make. With a young kid with little concept of money, it's a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, parents should be vigilent, and not allow the kid to spend money without permission, but most parents if they do enter their code to allow a kid to buy one purchase, aren't going to make their kid wait 15 minutes to play, and the companys behind these games are banking on that.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

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