EU to Apple, Google: Free game apps? Yeah, right

(Credit: Apple)

Apple and Google will be among the organizations to talk to the EU this week about the impact “freemium” apps are having on the industry.

In a statement on Thursday, the EU’s European Commission said that it wants to investigate in-app purchases on games that can be downloaded for free. The Commission argues that while games can be downloaded for free, they essentially compel customers to pay for add-ons that bring functionality to the title, and that belies the idea of truly playing a game for “free.”

So-called “freemium” games and apps have become increasingly popular in mobile marketplaces. The titles can be downloaded at no cost, but come with a wide range of in-app purchases that help the developer, who might have spent thousands on developing the title, to generate a return on that investment.

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