Freemium games on the Google Play Store won't be called 'free' for long

Free Google Play Store Games
Google doesn't want a IAP fiasco like Amazon and Apple

"Free" game apps on the Google Play Store that charge for in-app purchases won't be called free for much longer.

The European Commission laid out a new set of guidelines that all developers and app stores have to comply with. In accordance with these new court-ordered rules Google must stop advertising games that include in-app purchases as free in its app store.

The new guidelines didn't say if Google has to make these changes to its Play Store in other territories, but those in Europe should see many fewer "free" apps in the virtual marketplace by September.

You got served

The European Commission also slammed Apple in a press release attached to the new guidelines for failing to offer up any concrete or immediate solutions as Google had.

Google likely wants to act much more quickly after seeing the United States Federal Trade Commission whip both the Cupertino company and Amazon for failing to provide adequate control over inadvertent in-app purchases.

Earlier this year Apple paid the FTC a whopping $32.5 million (about £18.9m, AU$34.4m) to 37,000 customers forced to pay for virtual items they never wanted in the first place. More recently the FTC began pursuing a lawsuit against Amazon to make it pay back users charged for inadvertent purchases.

One would think that Apple would be rushing to make changes to avoid paying another multi-million dollar settlement.

The iPhone maker has since responded by claiming it has better controls than the rest of the mobile industry. A spokesperson told CNET it is also working to strengthen its protections with new features coming this fall, likely with iOS 8.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.