New guidelines for in-game ad purchases released

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has issued new guidelines for in-game advertising.

“The ASA (one of the UK’s advertising watchdogs) has released its new guidelines for in-game advertising purchases. This is huge and will require significant changes in current practices in the game. industry, ”wrote legal partner Peter Lewin.

“Remember that while the ASA does not have fine powers, it has operated successfully to date on the basis of name and shame (and can refer serious offenders to other agencies). regulations with more powerful powers). “

“The guidelines recently clarify several ways in which in-game buy game advertisers should seek to ensure their advertisements are not misleading,” the report begins.

There is a lot of talk about whether loot boxes should be classified as games of chance. The report noted that “where there are readily available opportunities to cash in or exchange the awarded in-game items for cash or cash, these in-game items are likely to be viewed as cash. licensed gaming activities “.

For this reason, the report suggests that all in-game currencies should also display their actual value and list individual prices for all items included in a bundle.

“(We) were concerned that the combination of proprietary virtual currency, bundling and irregular pricing could seriously impact the ability of consumers (especially children or vulnerable people) to understand how much real money they are spending in – game items and, therefore, impact their ability to make an informed decision about a purchase. “

There is also advice on seasonal items and rush purchases.

“Advertisers should be careful not to imply that an item is only available for a specific amount of time or through a specific purchase route if it will then be available again or more generally.

“Marketers should be careful not to imply that buying for real money is the only way to get that currency or that item if it isn’t (for example, if the items are accessible via wait timers or free game mechanics). ), ”The report continues.

The lengthy document, which can be read in full here, was written following public consultation and includes comments from various organizations including Gambling Health Alliance, The Video Standards Council and Parent Zone.

“(We) are aware of the need to avoid the unintended consequences of the introduction of new directives and to ensure that they are effective. As such, the guidelines will be subject to revision after 12 months ”, concludes the report.

In other news, the works of art for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was released ahead of the game’s reveal next month at the DC Fandome virtual event.

The game, developed by Batman: Arkham creator of the Rocksteady Studios series and released in 2022, is an action-adventure shooter set in an open-world metropolis.

About Cedric Lloyd

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