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UKIE: Games industry must work with OFT on in-app purchase principles

UKIE: Games industry must work with OFT on in-app purchase principles

UK trade association UKIE has broadly welcomed the Office of Fair Trading's eight principles for games featuring in-app purchases, calling on the industry to work with the Government body.

The principles – first unveiled back in September and set to be published in full later today – are designed to help businesses sell in-app content to consumers in a responsible manner, with the OFT looking for apps to comply by 1 April.

In response, UKIE CEO Jo Twist said the association had been "working closely with the OFT since they first announced their investigation" and called on more co-operation between the two parties moving forward.

A question of responsibility

"It's important that we help both the OFT and games businesses understand how new business models should work within existing rules around consumer protection, advertising and marketing because companies want to and believe they are already doing the right thing by their players," detailed Twist.

"We need to make sure we balance the opportunity and growth of innovative business models in the industry with sensible measures to protecting players."

Twist added that she was pleased the OFT recognised that "parents need to be more aware of and use parental controls that are available on devices."

Working together

"Protecting consumers is a shared responsibility across those who make and sell games, as well as parents and carers," Twist continued.

"Done responsibly, micro-transaction based business models give choice and value for both players and businesses. Flexibility for companies to operate different business models is crucial, and it is good to see the OFT recognise this.

"We will work with the OFT on briefing sessions for games companies to better understand the application of the principles."

In an effort to aid the implementation of the principles, UKIE is to host a series briefing sessions to enable games businesses to question the OFT directly.

The first will take place at UKIE's office in London on 20 February. You can find out more information on UKIE's Facebook page.

Further sessions designed to enable developers to get to grips with what the principles will mean in practice will be confirmed at a later date.

You can read UKIE's response to the principles in full over on the body's website.


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Contributing Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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John Ozimek director at dimoso
obvious question - but what happens if a developer doesn't follow the guidelines? Are they purely voluntary? What about the app store owners - surely they are the ones who set policy?
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