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ComputerMKII
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:16 PM)
The English article is pretty short but I'd be grateful if someone could translate the Flemish version

Edit: Thanks, E-phonk!

Originally Posted by E-phonk

Complete dutch article translated:

37.000 euro of parents money wasted with "free" game

More than 37.000 euro. That's the amount a fifteen year old boy from Antwerp wasted in only a few months time without the knowledge of his mother. The National Commission for gambling sounds the alarm: "On the internet everything is allowed - we need more strict laws and policies"

Robin (not his real name) had been playing Game of War - Fire Age for only a few months. This internet game is freely downloadable. Players have to build an army and a city in order to destroy their opponents camp.

"Robin has been playing video games for years, just like his brothers", his mother says. "But he never played for money, we had no reason to be worried."

What his mother didn't know, was Robin got more and more involved in the world of Game of War. He wanted to do everything for it.

"When I was planning to go on vacation, I asked Robin to install some e-books on my tablet, something I don't know how to do myself", says the woman. "To buy these books I have given him the credit card of my father." And Robin added this credit card to his own iTunes account, the download service of Apple. He discovered he could buy virtual gold within the game using a credit card. This virtual gold made him progress to the game significantly faster. "While you are playing tons of advertisements are displayed, there is even an in-game casino that you can play. You only have to click once to make a purchase and real money is being spent, which was exactly what he did again and again, not knowing how much money he was actually spending as nothing shows what the amount is that you already payed."

Boy splurges 37,000 euros playing ‘free’ game



A 15-year-old Flemish boy managed to spend 37,000 euros of his mother’s money playing an online game, according to the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad’. The strange thing is that no one noticed a thing.

The boy downloaded the game ‘Game of War’ for free, but managed to purchase ‘virtual’ gold without noticing. The virtual currency helped him progress through the game faster, but unfortunately also led to real money being charged to his mother’s bank account. It took a long time before anyone caught on.

The Belgian Gambling Commission is sounding the alarm. “We need stricter rules.”

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.en...line-game-debt
2San
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:20 PM)
2San's Avatar
He got the credit card info, because the mom wanted some e-books for her tablet and didn't know how to do it herself.

The article doesn't really have additional interesting information.
OldRoutes
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:20 PM)
OldRoutes's Avatar
Game of War is an iOS or Android app, and those two OS comes with password protections when buying things (i.e. : you need to login to buy something).

You can also deactivate that, but that's at your own risk.
Broken Joystick
At least you can talk. Who are you?
(10-03-2014, 02:21 PM)
Broken Joystick's Avatar
"We need an attention grabbing title, that also sounds like products on the market. Any ideas?"

"INTRODUCING, GAME OF WAR."

Holy shit though, that's like £30K.
BlackBuzzard
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by ComputerMKII

The English article is pretty short, but I'd be grateful if someone could translate the Flemish version:



http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.en...line-game-debt

Him not noticing he was using real money is bullshit. Just an addict trying to play the victim.
Savitar
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:21 PM)
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Wow.

Can you imagine how much it would have cost if not free.
iceatcs
Junior Member
(10-03-2014, 02:22 PM)
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Holy shit, like he pressed IAP over 500 times.

It is King's wishful all the time.
WooHooAlex
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:22 PM)
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Whoops
Ramza
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:23 PM)

It took a long time before anyone caught on.

Does Apple not notify people if they've spent this much as a method of fraud prevention?
m0t0k1
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:23 PM)
m0t0k1's Avatar
In essence how he got the money is that his mom asked him to purchase ebooks before she left on holiday. and put it on her ereader since she does not know how that works. So he hooked up his grandfathers credit card to his itunes account to buy the books. Then the boy discovered that he could buy virtual gold with the credit card. He discovered it because the game displays a lot of promotions. There is even a Casino in the game where you spent real money and with just one click the money is already transferred so no warnings. He pressed the button again and again and there is no notification ingame how much money you spent so it was hard for him to keep track of how much he spent. The reason why the mother was this naive was because him and his brother have been playing games for a long time and they never used any money so she never saw a reason to be cautious.

edit: the reason why he kept spending money is that he can progress through the game way faster and got addicted on the game. The commission about gambling now is going to warn people about the dangers of IAP and is asking for (stricter)rules on the subject so that people cannot spent this much money.
foxbeldin
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:23 PM)
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Free 2 play done right.
Sho_Nuff82
(10-03-2014, 02:23 PM)
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There's no regulating stupid. What are they going to do, make every game with IAP rated M? These games are designed to make money from whales, how do you drop 40k from your bank account and not notice?
Sami+
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:24 PM)
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How rich do you have to be to not even notice that cash being spent
Impeccable
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:25 PM)
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The boy is stupid.

You can't blame the game.
Shiina
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:27 PM)
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The Belgian Gambling Commission is sounding the alarm. “We need stricter rules.”

I think we need better parenting.
CyanideFuse
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:27 PM)
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I can kind of understand technical ignorance but does nobody check their bank statements these days?
Xando
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by Shiina

I think we need better parenting.

Probably both.
ComputerMKII
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:28 PM)

Originally Posted by m0t0k1

In essence how he got the money is that his mom asked him to purchase ebooks before she left on holiday. and put it on her ereader since she does not know how that works. So he hooked up his grandfathers credit card to his itunes account to buy the books. Then the boy discovered that he could buy virtual gold with the credit card. He discovered it because the game displays a lot of promotions. There is even a Casino in the game where you spent real money and with just one click the money is already transferred so no warnings. He pressed the button again and again and there is no notification ingame how much money you spent so it was hard for him to keep track of how much he spent. The reason why the mother was this naive was because him and his brother have been playing games for a long time and they never used any money so she never saw a reason to be cautious.

edit: the reason why he kept spending money is that he can progress through the game way faster and got addicted on the game. The commission about gambling now is going to warn people about the dangers of IAP and is asking for (stricter)rules on the subject so that people cannot spent this much money.

Jesus Christ, everyone in this story (parents, kid, app publisher) fucked up.
Spineker
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:29 PM)
This is a blatant scam and should be illegal practice.
ComputerMKII
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:30 PM)

Originally Posted by Sho_Nuff82

There's no regulating stupid. What are they going to do, make every game with IAP rated M? These games are designed to make money from whales, how do you drop 40k from your bank account and not notice?

The game seems to have a casino in it, so yeah, I don't see why it shouldn't be rated M for gambling.
Dreamwriter
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ramza

Does Apple not notify people if they've spent this much as a method of fraud prevention?

Apple sends an email to the user account for every transaction. If the kid hooked up the credit card to his own account, then he would get the emails.
GSG Flash
Nobody ruins my family vacation but me...and maybe the boy!
(10-03-2014, 02:31 PM)

Originally Posted by Discoid

How rich do you have to be to not even notice that cash being spent

Probably saw it on the credit card bill.
m0t0k1
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by Shiina

I think we need better parenting.

Originally Posted by Xando

Probably both.

Another thing you guys should notice is that. Most Flemish and Dutch people don't use credit cards that much. So that also has a lot to do with people don't knowing how easy it is to distract money from the card. We use debit cards a lot and bank transfers. And usually those have caps on spending. Since i also don't own a CC i don't know if there are any caps used on them. So the mother probably wasn't aware of that since it was the card of her father.
CadetMahoney
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:34 PM)
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So basically the money is gone with 100% no way of getting it back and all there is left is ppl lamenting "oh we need stricter rules". . . what about my money "shit outta luck".

We hear this story man times over with free to play games and it sets a precedent with these companies just laughing.

Didn't the big xbox live cases have them getting the money back because of the bad press? Free to play companies are like:

King_Moc
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:37 PM)
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There needs to be a limit on how much one user can spend on these things. Something is seriously wrong when I can order The Evil Within for £25, but a simpleton can spend over £30k on a glorified flash game.
Gipsy Danger
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:38 PM)
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How come these news stories are always about proper trash-tier titles? No one ever gets in the news for spending £30k on Dota or LoL.
RS4-
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by Gipsy Danger

How come these news stories are always about proper trash-tier titles? No one ever gets in the news for spending £30k on Dota or LoL.

People have no taste.

Like everyone that played Candy Crush.
Ooccoo
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:39 PM)
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game of war best worst title for a generic game

can't wait for the sequel game of fight
sono
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:39 PM)
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Play for free..
NumberThree
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by Gipsy Danger

How come these news stories are always about proper trash-tier titles? No one ever gets in the news for spending £30k on Dota or LoL.

Sure they do!

http://www.gameskinny.com/ow6ba/dota...ells-for-38000
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(10-03-2014, 02:41 PM)
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30k and nobody from the bank or credit card company called?
JimPanzer
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:42 PM)
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more importantly, did he win?
Kysen
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:42 PM)
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The fact that it is even possible to spend that kind of money on a single game is obscene. F2P is an scummy business model.
Ray Wonder
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:44 PM)
I spent like $300 at bestbuy and my bank contacted me. I find this hard to believe that 37,000 euros could be spent without notice. On a phone nonetheless.
shiftplusone
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Ooccoo

game of war best worst title for a generic game

can't wait for the sequel game of fight

I dunno man, Warface is still pretty fucking stupid
Ark
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Discoid

How rich do you have to be to not even notice that cash being spent

Scandinavia, man.
EoinOL
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:45 PM)

Originally Posted by Sho_Nuff82

What are they going to do, make every game with IAP rated M?

Would that be a bad idea? I can't think of any downsides of slapping a PEGI 18 rating on any game (console or mobile) that allows in-game purchases. It wouldn't prevent many of these cases (kids are probably using an account registered to their parents most of the time) but every little helps.

Ultimately the solution to this will be that the device itself will authenticate the user's permission to make purchases, maybe based on fingerprints and/or facial recognition, but until then, I don't see any reason not to have warnings on these games.
leadbelly
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:46 PM)
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How much virtual gold does 37k get you?
Late Flag
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:46 PM)
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This game must be really awesome if it's worth 37 racks. Downloading now . . .

Originally Posted by Ray Wonder

I spent like $300 at bestbuy and my bank contacted me. I find this hard to believe that 37,000 euros could be spent without notice. On a phone nonetheless.

I ordered a tv from Fry's online a couple of months ago, and my credit card company wouldn't process the order until I called them to confirm that I was really placing it. So yeah I'm with you. I get that each of these transactions was probably pretty small, but you'd think the credit card company or bank would notice the pattern here. It's not like they don't have data miners who look for stuff like this.
Zok310
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:47 PM)
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How the hell does one spend $37,000 on a freaking game and no one at the bank realize that shit.
Yagharek
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:48 PM)
If it's not the kids money then it's not an authorised purchase. Scam apps should be banned.
iceatcs
Junior Member
(10-03-2014, 02:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by Slayven

30k and nobody from the bank or credit card company called?

Originally Posted by Ray Wonder

I spent like $300 at bestbuy and my bank contacted me. I find this hard to believe that 37,000 euros could be spent without notice. On a phone nonetheless.

I think it is not like 37000 in one go. I think Game of war maximum IAP is 80 euro.
mcz117chief
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kysen

The fact that it is even possible to spend that kind of money on a single game is obscene. F2P is an scummy business model.

This. How.. the F***... can you spend so much money on a game of this kind ? Rather, how can you spend that much money on ANY game ? This is high stakes gambling money we are talking about !
Azzurri
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:51 PM)
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THis sounds like my mom.

She just learned how to use the computer and iPad and likes to play those slot games, well since her checking is with mine right now I keep it up to date. She spend like 3k on these stupid games. I got mad and told her how stupid it is, she didn't like that LOL.
Denton
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:51 PM)
Not defending the kid or its parents, but goddamn companies that make these games are worse than Activision. It is almost impressive how terrible this gaming trend is.
glaringradio
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:51 PM)
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Originally Posted by iceatcs

I think it is not like 37000 in one go. I think Game of war maximum IAP is 80 euro.

So a terrible bank then. When I was working in banking our fraud department would have been on that shit right after the first purchase was made. Block immediately put on the card and an automated message left with the account holder.

This does seem to be a case of everyone fucking up spectacularly at once though. Mother for being a shitty parent, child for clearly being aware of what was happening (because the game does inform you several times that the transactions are using real money), bank for being awful to let this happen, and the company for taking advantage of said people.
air jordans for dogs
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:51 PM)
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I can't believe it's named game of war fire age, I couldn't even make something as generic as that for comedy.
PumpkinSpice
Banned
(10-03-2014, 02:52 PM)

Originally Posted by Sho_Nuff82

There's no regulating stupid. What are they going to do, make every game with IAP rated M? These games are designed to make money from whales, how do you drop 40k from your bank account and not notice?

I think that making all FTP games not available for kids might actually be a good idea. These games only survive on business models where basically to get people hooked in the same way as gambling to try and milk money out of the user. It's ethically really dodgy to market these games at kids.
DeviantBoi
Member
(10-03-2014, 02:53 PM)
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The solution is to set a max amount that can be spent on IAP per game per person.

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