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Social game giants to set monthly Y10,000 cap on teen spending

4 Comments

Six major social game operators, including Gree, DeNA and CyberAgent, said Wednesday they have agreed to begin limiting minors' monthly spending on game content to 10,000 yen a month.

The companies held a conference in Tokyo to discuss measures to deal with growing criticism from the Japanese media about large monthly bills racked up by underage users, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Unlike Apple and Gree, DeNA has not introduced in-app splash screens to warn users when they are about to make a purchase. Media criticism of social game operators has been fierce following a series of cases in which minors ran up large bills, some as much as tens of thousands of yen, buying virtual items.

The companies, which also included Mixi, NHN Japan and Dwango Co, discussed self-regulation and agreed to set a spending cap, according to the Sankei report.

Starting Thursday, Gree will cap monthly spending for users aged 18 and below at 10,000 yen, and for users aged 15 or under, the cap will be set at 5,000 yen. DeNA will introduce the same monthly cap in June.

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4 Comments
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this wont affect a lot to their sales. selling items with gashapon is the major problem on their bussiness that has to be restricted by a law asap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why are companies doing this? This is what parents should be doing, not companies. If kids are spending too much time, too much money, their parents should limit it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

why companies doing this is to divert public attention from fundmental problem of their business. kids can have their cell phone these days without their own creditcard. so one of problem is kids can buy stuffs easily with their mobile, some parents can control that threshold but not all. these companies are much alike pachinko companies have to be take away from kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The videogame market in Japan is completely unable nowdays to meet the expectations and needs of foreign users and therefore the sales are plummeting, which combined with a strong yen makes the situation unbeareble to most companies.

So the 2 paths that most companies are taking are: 1 Outsourcing abroad to more capable, cheaper and more "foreign friendly" companies or 2 Crappy mobile games or social games that rely on the income from all this "capsule items" and extra fees in exchange for a boost on the player stats, more content, etc.

There have been a lot of incidents recently of children spending thousands of yen on this virtual products without any kind of parental protection, and I agree that there is a need for regulation but, shouldn't the parents assure that their kids use their phones and PCs under some restrictions and protections also?

And another think, even if they set those age restrictions...how do you make sure that the person has in fact that age? isn't like saying on a website "If you are below 18 get out"? Seems to me that this is just a PR strategy since these companies are making huge profits, just take a look at their "kessan" financial results for last year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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