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The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into internet and mobile games aimed at children which offer in-game purchases, particularly in relation to aggressively pushing this premium content, reports the BBC.

"We are concerned that children and their parents could be subject to unfair pressure to purchase when they are playing games they thought were free, but which can actually run up substantial costs," said Cavendish Elithorn, the OFT's senior director for goods and consumer.

The investigation hopes to discover if these game can be "misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair" when presenting the option to buy in-game extras. It will also determine if children are being targeted by free-to-play game makers.

In recent weeks there have been several media reports about children running up costly bills through in-app purchases.

Only last month, five-year-old Danny Kitchen managed to spend £1,700 playing hit game Zombies vs. Ninjas. After widespread media coverage Danny's parents were offered a refund by Apple.

VideoGamer.com Analysis

It isn't just kids being hit by in-app purchases. I got home earlier this week to find my other half seconds away from accidentally (so she claims) purchasing over £50 worth of in-app items for Gnome Village. Thankfully she doesn't know my Google account details...

Source: BBC

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Darkr8zor's Avatar

Darkr8zor

Gnome villiage? I like the sound of that..
Posted 14:55 on 13 April 2013