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UK Enforces Stricter Rules Against In-Game Microtransactions

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The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has published new guidelines for microtransactions. While these new mandates do not thwart in-game purchases, their goal is to ensure that advertising for the games clearly indicates the monetary value of any purchase a user may make.

As noted by Eurogamer, under the The new ASA guidelines, all in-game ads offering premium currency should clearly state how much money you should spend to purchase it. So, let’s say that money is the premium currency of a particular game, an ad listing 100 Silver should clearly state that you will have to spend $ 10 to get it.

The advertisement should also make it clear that the user is purchasing a virtual item for a certain amount ($ 10 for example) that is worth less. Advertisements should also refrain from enticing customers through timer-based offers and “best value” offers. . These new directives target the latter.

RELATED: Pokemon Unite’s Microtransactions Are Bad, But It Doesn’t Pay To Win

Ads need to further clarify if the game contains lootboxes via a notification on the store page. However, the ASA said it was not competent to decide whether “buying items at random is a form of gambling”; it’s up to the Gaming Commission to decide.

In order to ensure developers and marketing teams adapt to these new guidelines, the ASA said it will handle all complaints informally for six months. After that, he will continue with his usual procedure and deal with complaints formally.

Clearly, these new guidelines in no way attempt to curb microtransactions, but were put in place to ensure that customers don’t fall victim to predatory marketing tactics. Pokemon Unite has recently been criticized for its microtransactions. It has several currencies that can be used to purchase cosmetics, Pokémon, and, more controversially, upgrades for battle items.

This also resulted in a drop in the game’s metacritic score. The review average stands at 69/100, while the user score has fallen to 4.1 / 10, the majority of complaints about predatory microtransactions.

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