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Will FreePlay stop asking you to purchase items?

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WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
edited January 2017 in The Sims FreePlay
I've made this meme regarding the purchase problem
1bvcjd.jpg?psid=1

The Sims FreePlay has started showing a dialog asking you to purchase currency when the game is started, usually this happens when the deal expires or something. FreePlay also does this if you don't have enough Simoleons, Lifestyle Points, or Social Points to purchase the object.

This is bad because people might not know that this actually costs real money and compounded by the fact that in-app purchases are enabled by default makes this matter worse. This can be a problem for kids or people unfamiliar with micro transactions. The only saving grace is the purple Purchase button and the prompt to enter your password.

None of the other games such as The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 attempt to ask you to spend real money although TS3 by default has Store items in Gold in Buy/Build Mode that costs SimPoints in addition to in-game items while The Sims 4 has added the DLC button although the game doesn't attempt to ask you to spend real money. Fortunately you can turn this off so TS3 only displays the in-game objects .
Post edited by WinMacSims3 on
Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer

Comments

  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    Freeplay still isn't nearly as aggressive with this advertising as some of the other MMO games from other game companies where pop up windows which ask you to press OK to buy something happen all the time. So you should always disable inapp purchases in your phone settings - and especially on your kid's phone or tablet.

    The problem is the same with streaming because some streaming companies offer movies which you can buy or rent even if you pay for a monthly subscription where you can watch other movies and series for free. I have seen parents complain about this too when their children had bought or rented things without knowing that it cost real money. Fortunately a streaming company which did this now also have made it possible for parents to disable this for their children.

    But the main problem still is that Apple and all the other companies don't disable inapp purchases as default when they sell their phones, tablets, apps and smartTVs. So parents unfortunately still often have to learn to do this the hard way before they give their children access to such things.
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    edited December 2016
    I've noticed that FreePlay has been doing this frequently in July compared to the previous months because almost several times I start up the game, the game repeatedly asks me to purchase a currency pack. Here's the dialog that appears:
    original?v=v2&px=-1

    This is getting bad because a person can accidentally accept the purchase offer without knowing it costs real money. Since you have resumed FreePlay, you might be saved by the password entry but God help someone who isn't aware that it costs real money. I don't know if FreePlay was subject to controversies considering that the game can easily trick you into spending real money such as if you try to use a VIP perk without the appropriate VIP level, don't have enough of the appropriate currency (such as Simoleons or LP), or when you resume the game (see image above).

    The VIP and currency dialogs can be really jarring for new players since he or she will have no VIP levels and they'll have low Simoleons leading to purchase dialogs which you can unknowingly accept. For starters, FreePlay will ask the player to purchase a currency pack if the player doesn't have enough Simoleons, Lifestyle Points, or Social Points to purchase the object/building, or to do an action. In The Sims 4 and other games, you can't purchase the object, build or use actions if you don't have enough Simoleons to cover the cost. This also applies to The Sims 2's and The Sims Stores' Aspiration Rewards, The Sims 3's Lifetime Rewards, The Sims 4's Reward traits, and The Sims 4 Get Together's Club Perks, where you can't purchase the reward if you don't have enough of the respective points.

    Now cue problems with children/teens when they start playing the game as they might unknowingly make a purchase should they not know about the VIP and currency offers cost real money. What makes it worse is kids/other people could know the PIN and/or password making this really aggravating. Even more aggravating is that in-app purcahses are enabled by default and not everyone knows how to turn off in-app purchases.

    Windows has a similar issue with the Hide extensions for known file types being enabled by default. This setting hides extensions for known file types such as .exe, .png., .mp3, .txt, etc. Worms and viruses such as ILOVEYOU/Loveletter, Brontok, Heap41a, and CryptoLocker tend to use double file extensions or familiar Windows icons such as folders and text documents which would mean a file named picture.png.exe would appear as picture.png. Many users often got infected by these type of viruses considering that most users often do not change the setting. While it's possible to right click the file and click Properties or look in the Details pane of Windows Explorer/File Explorer to see if it's an application or an actual file/folder, average users will likely not bother checking the file type.
    Post edited by WinMacSims3 on
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    Apple alway asks me to confirm my ingame purchases and to write my password. So it shouldn't be a problem. If people give the App Store password to their children then they are asking for trouble and will probably learn this the hard way ;)

    The Sims Freeplay never annoys me about this. But I am also playing a free action/war game where a screen pops up and gives me offers to buy grenades, health packs and ammo cartridges for real money every time I lose a battle. This I find very annoying because I won't ever do that and just have to x that annoying window out every time. But the game companies can't make free games unless some of the gamers make ingame purchases. So I guess that we just have to accept this (or switch to paid games instead).
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    It appears that the game is doing it again in September. FreePlay really needs to stop with this, I don't think it's acceptable to ask to purchase something if they didn't request it. For example, being asked to purchase The Sims 3 is OK if the user explicitly requested to purchase TS3 but being asked to purchase The Sims 4 when the user doesn't have any intention to purchase TS4 isn't acceptable. One thing that FreePlay doesn't do that other games do is nag you to purchase although FP still annoyingly does prompt to purchase if you try to use a VIP feature or purchase an object without enough currency.

    Even paid games do it such as The Sims 3 (although this be turned off, unlike FreePlay), FIFA on Xbox One, and Borderlands 2. In Borderlands 2, the extra 2 characters as well as the additional locations are listed regardless if the player owns the DLC, attempting to select the two characters or Fast Travel to the DLC locations will ask the player to go to the Store to purchase the DLC (PS3/Xbox 360) or open a Steam browser window displaying Borderlands 2's page (PC). This can be problematic if the console is shared and payment info is shared.

    Fortunately, the locations will not appear if the console is not connected to the Internet, if the account isn't signed to PlayStation Network/Xbox Live, or if signed in to a profile that isn't using a Sony Entertainment Network account (PS3) or Microsoft account (Xbox 360). On PC, the extra locations will only disappear if running Steam on Offline Mode.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    This also happened twice in October as well.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    It seems the game isn't stopping this in November either.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    @WinMacSims3 Then you should try other free games and especially a game like the Tribez. That game will offer you something to buy for real money in popups about twice a minute while you play it. But you will soon get the habit just to close all those popup windows without even reading them ;)
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    This seems to be continuing in December 2016 as well. I have made a thread on Answer HQ detailing this issue. I don't know if FreePlay was subject to controversies with in-app purchases like other free-to-play games had but being asked to spend something with real money every 2 days could make it problematic if children are playing the game.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    edited December 2016
    This seems to be continuing in December 2016 as well. I have made a thread on Answer HQ detailing this issue. I don't know if FreePlay was subject to controversies with in-app purchases like other free-to-play games had but being asked to spend something with real money every 2 days could make it problematic if children are playing the game.
    I still don't really see your problem and I don't agree for the following reasons:
    1. The game couldn't be free if it didn't contain adds and offers about paid content too.
    2. Apple or Google will ask you about your AppleID or password to confirm that you really want to purchase before you pay the money.
    3. If you let your kid play the game then they can't make such purchases unless they know your AppleID or Google password which you never should tell them unless you are completely sure that their phone or tablet doesn't remember your credit card at all.
    4. All similar games make similar offers and the Sims Freeplay isn't at all the most aggressive among them.
    5. More and more paid games switch the the F2P model with ingame advertising and offers about paid content too because the game companies have realized that it is more important for their income to have a huge number of gamers playing their games than just to get a little money in advance from a tiny fraction of all the gamers who could like their games.

    So I don't think that you have any chance of winning this battle ;)
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    The game already has ads and in-app purchases that the player can manually buy (i.e., going to the Online Store and buying something) to make money plus EA is also making money from other games like The Sims 4, Battlefield 1, and other games. No other Sims game asks you to buy something without player action; in The Sims 3 or The Sims 4, you have to go to Origin and choose to explicitly buy the game and/or the DLCs so you can't accidentally spend real money in TS3 or TS4 although The Sims 3 has Shop Mode which lists Store objects in Buy/Build Mode so players could accidentally spend their SimPoints especially if someone is playing it on that account but that could be turned off while The Sims 4 will take the player to purchase the DLC if they try to access a World without owning the appropriate Expansion Pack or Game Pack but people who know the DLCs aren't free will likely not fall for it. Not so with FreePlay, the game asks you to buy a currency pack if you don't have enough Simoleons, Lifestyle Points, or Social Points to purchase the object or perform the action, and about every 2 days, the game tend to display a prompt asking you to purchase. Probably by this point, you will want to disable In-app purchases like I did.

    Sure players may notice the password entry and immediately back off but people who don't know about this may accidentally spend real money
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • Renamed2002180839Renamed2002180839 Posts: 3,444 Member
    This is how the game pays for itself. You don't really think it's "free" right? I mean all the people working on it have to be compensated and this is how. Hopefully you'll spend $6.99 for the Teddy Bear or whatever it was in your picture- and people complain a stuff pack costs $9.99 smh- and thereby help pay for the "free" game. Oh, and later when the game folds, all that stuff you bought is gone. I really don't know why people still get into these so much. I've dropped them by the way side.
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    The game already has ads and in-app purchases that the player can manually buy (i.e., going to the Online Store and buying something) to make money plus EA is also making money from other games like The Sims 4, Battlefield 1, and other games. No other Sims game asks you to buy something without player action; in The Sims 3 or The Sims 4, you have to go to Origin and choose to explicitly buy the game and/or the DLCs so you can't accidentally spend real money in TS3 or TS4 although The Sims 3 has Shop Mode which lists Store objects in Buy/Build Mode so players could accidentally spend their SimPoints especially if someone is playing it on that account but that could be turned off while The Sims 4 will take the player to purchase the DLC if they try to access a World without owning the appropriate Expansion Pack or Game Pack but people who know the DLCs aren't free will likely not fall for it. Not so with FreePlay, the game asks you to buy a currency pack if you don't have enough Simoleons, Lifestyle Points, or Social Points to purchase the object or perform the action, and about every 2 days, the game tend to display a prompt asking you to purchase. Probably by this point, you will want to disable In-app purchases like I did.

    Sure players may notice the password entry and immediately back off but people who don't know about this may accidentally spend real money
    I don't believe that anybody buy things they don't want to buy. I also still play the Tribez which is way more aggressively attempting to get me to buy something in pop up windows you are accompanied by a fanfare. Sometimes I even hit the buy button by accident. Then I am taken to the App Store which asks me for my AppleID to confirm my purchase. Instead of typing my AppleID I of course hit the cancel button and am taken back to the game.

    @JasonAnthonySterling In-app purchases should be seen in the same way as the monthly subscriptions to Netflix or World of Warcraft or payment for a ticket to a movie, a concert or a sports match. They are payments for a temporary pleasure which doesn't give you even more pleasure after the events or the games have ended.

    Personally I usually never use in-app purchases in free games because I am not interested in just dead stuff which isn't necessary anyway. But for the Sims Freeplay I would still say that at least VIP2 is worth it just for the daily rainbow slices. In another game I also bought a little armor and a better weapon to avoid losing too often. But generally I almost always just refuse all the offers without even looking at them.
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    edited December 2016
    I'm pretty sure players are going to start finding these in-app purchase prompts annoying especially when they said No about a hundred times since there's no way to turn off these messages.

    @JasonAnthonySterling It was a Teddy Bear when I took the screenshot but now it's Premiere Night Fashion that the game is asking me to buy.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • joleacojoleaco Posts: 2,237 Member
    @WinMacSims3 it sounds like you haven't played any other apps that offer in-app purchases. If you do, you will find that pop ups for purchases happen all the time. The Sims Freeplay is not a pioneer of this feature! This is how they make money to continue to update and expand the game.

    You should go play other games that offer in-app purchases, seriously. They all do it. Then you won't have to come back here every month to let us know, because they definitely won't be turning of the pop-ups.
    YmWXbP5.jpg?1
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    edited January 2017
    joleaco wrote: »
    @WinMacSims3 it sounds like you haven't played any other apps that offer in-app purchases. If you do, you will find that pop ups for purchases happen all the time. The Sims Freeplay is not a pioneer of this feature! This is how they make money to continue to update and expand the game.

    You should go play other games that offer in-app purchases, seriously. They all do it. Then you won't have to come back here every month to let us know, because they definitely won't be turning of the pop-ups.

    @joleaco The problem with free to play games asking people to purchase is because people could say yes and this is made worse that Apple, Google, and Amazon have (you guessed it) in-app purchases enabled by default on their respective operating systems but I don't know if the Aamzon Fire Kids Edition has IAP enabled by default. While adults may say no, kids and teens will say yes especially if they don't know about the in-app purchases. Also FreePlay asks the player to purchase currency if they do not have enough currency to buy something or perform an action. Sure The Sims FreePlay is not targeted towards kids but there are some children playing it which makes this jarring, it doesn't help for some parents that some kids may know the password and pin.

    Windows has the same problem with hide known file extensions being enabled by default which leads to problems with viruses that tend to use Windows icons or double file extensions. For example, a file with the name document.docx.exe will be displayed as document.docx so anyone who doesn't turn off the setting (which I'm sure they probably won't) will not know this is a virus and probably run it because a .docx file usually opens in Microsoft Word but this file will actually run the virus. This still remains a problem in Windows 10 as file extensions are still hidden by default.
    Post edited by WinMacSims3 on
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    @WinMacSims3 Yes kids could say yes and will then be asked for their password to their AppleID to confirm their purchase. So if you give your kid an iPhone with your credit card installed and show the kid how to download paid apps from the App Store by writing the right password then the kid kid can also make in-app purchases. But how is this worse than that you have given your kid access to buy all the paid apps in the App Store??

    In my opinion people who give their kids iPhones or other smartphones with installed credit cards and information about the passwords that confirm their purchases are the problem - and not the app stores or the companies who enable in-app purchases.
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    edited February 2017
    I've noticed that the game stopped displaying the purchase dialogs (prompting me to purchase) throughout the French Romance Event but it seems the game has resumed this as I see another Purchase % button.

    I also wonder what is the point of the game asking you to purchase something when there's already a store button that is right next to the frequently used buttons (Party Boat, Home Store, and Town Map).
    Post edited by WinMacSims3 on
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    I've noticed that the game stopped displaying the purchase dialogs (prompting me to purchase) throughout the French Romance Event but it seems the game has resumed this as I see another Purchase % button.

    I also wonder what is the point of the game asking you to purchase something when there's already a store button that is right next to the frequently used buttons (Party Boat, Home Store, and Town Map).
    The idea behind all advertising isn't to give information but to sell the idea that you maybe should buy the advertised product. A lot of people have already decided not to use the store because everything is expensive and not necessary anyway. But when the game suggests that you buy a certain thing then people will reconsider: "Maybe I should buy just this one thing anyway?" Almost everybody will reach the conclusion: "Nah - it is still too expensive and I don't need it!" But if only 1 out of each 200 simmers instead reach the opposite conclusion then EA will still get hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars which is what pays all the full time salaries for the developers. And the opposite conclusion probably is: "Is it really that expensive? I haven't bought anything else recently - so I think that I can afford to buy this just to support the game." :)

    Advertising for cereal or for cars of a certain brand isn't different. You already know where to buy such products. So you just need to be given the idea to buy them just now. This is the fundamental thing about advertising ;)
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    It seems the game is displaying the purchase dialogs less frequently than before since the French Romance update but I don't know if this will continue in the future with later updates. The tendency of games (including FreePlay) requesting that the player purchase content is getting seen as a criticism.

    From Wikipedia's Free-to-play article
    In single player games, another concern is the tendency for free games to constantly request that the player buy extra content, in a similar vein to nagware and trialware's frequent demands for the user to 'upgrade'.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • WinMacSims3WinMacSims3 Posts: 1,610 Member
    It seems today (March 24, 2017) that the game has resumed displaying the purchase dialogs so I'll update if they keep coming.
    Origin ID: GothicSimmer, YouTube: GothicSimmer
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    It seems today (March 24, 2017) that the game has resumed displaying the purchase dialogs so I'll update if they keep coming.
    And you still hate this and would therefore prefer to just pay a monthly subscription instead of sometimes being asked to buy things in the game while you are playing?
  • SkobeeSkobee Posts: 2,864 Member
    I'm just gonna burst your bubble and be realistic here. First even if you click buy you need to accept it which you can deny. Second, they need to make money for a free game because actual people make this game and need to be paid. Third of all, either it's so annoying you quit the game, or you accept it and stop putting useless posts like these here.

    You don't have to update anything, everyone here knows this is how mobile games work. Every other free game does this and does it more aggresive so you're lucky it shows up this little.
    Origin ID - RosyAngelina
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    Skobee wrote: »
    I'm just gonna burst your bubble and be realistic here. First even if you click buy you need to accept it which you can deny. Second, they need to make money for a free game because actual people make this game and need to be paid. Third of all, either it's so annoying you quit the game, or you accept it and stop putting useless posts like these here.

    You don't have to update anything, everyone here knows this is how mobile games work. Every other free game does this and does it more aggresive so you're lucky it shows up this little.
    The difference isn't between mobile games though - but between paid singleplayer games and MMO games, which you now also most often can download for free from https://www.microsoft.com/store/games/windows

    Earlier most MMO games required us to pay a monthly subscription. But some of the game companies discovered that this scared a huge number of potential customers away. So some companies instead began to offer the games for free with the idea that if their games could attract enough gamers then maybe they could earn just as much money anyway even if only a fraction of the customers chose to buy extra things for the game. This experiment was so successful that almost all MMO games now are free to play.

    Some free apps offers instead the opportunity to upgrade to an add-free version of the app for a little money and I would expect that EA could offer that too for a game like the Sims Freeplay. But I don't really think that it would be a good idea for a MMO game because obviously the game company will stop its support for the game and take the server down if/when the game some day doesn't generate enough income to pay the expenses anymore. So if we want EA Firemonkeys to still make new content for the game and keep the game server online then we should instead keep supporting the game by buying things which we think are worth our money.

    I can understand though why weak parents (who find it difficult to deny anything for their children) don't like the way their children could nag them all the time by asking them to buy all the things in the popups. But I don't think that there is any good way to change that anyway ;)
  • Milan14Milan14 Posts: 31 Member
    No cause f2p games are made to annoy you till you buy
  • ErpeErpe Posts: 5,872 Member
    Milan14 wrote: »
    No cause f2p games are made to annoy you till you buy
    Just like everything else that you can buy for money. Just look at all the commercial adds on the TV channels ;)

    And you could also say that the Sims 4 basegame only is made to fool you into buying about 30 expansions whithout realizing that after that the "cheap" basegame has cost you at least about a thousand dollars :D;)
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