An 18-year-old Canadian has become addicted to the game Township. To the point of spending nearly $5,000 on in-app purchases with his father’s credit card.
The economic model of in-app purchases has established itself in the video game landscape. Its principle? Free-to-play games are free to download. But players are encouraged to spend money to improve their equipment, obtain new objects, unlock characters or even new content. And the youngest can quickly inflate the bill. In the United States, a 6-year-old child spent over $16,000 on an iOS game.
This time, it was in Canada that a father had a bad surprise. He discovered that his 18-year-old daughter had spent $4986 making in-app purchases in Township, a management game whose objective is to develop his city, his factories and his fields. Asked by Global News, he confides that she became addicted during the Christmas holidays.
Read > Apple is sued by a woman who spent more than $3,000 on a free-to-play game
Apple refunds the full amount
To the point of spending up to $250 a day. According to her parent, however, the player did not necessarily realize that she was using real money. “She suffered from social anxiety. Some medications she was taking to treat her discomfort were also being adjusted,” underlines Jerry Marion of Okotoks in order to justify his daughter’s lack of discernment about the money spent.
He tried to contact the game’s developer, Playrix, for help, but his calls went unanswered. At first, he also failed to get a refund from Apple. But after contacting Global News, Apple eventually refunded the full amount, acknowledging the need to protect vulnerable people locked in a cycle of addiction.
Be that as it may, users haven’t finished spending crazy sums on free-to-play. Last July, we learned that Pokémon Go players had spent more than $5 billion on in-app purchases.
Source: Global News