China isn’t content to bulldoze its own local gaming industry by freezing game approvals, blocking kids from gaming outside of tiny windows, and freaking out investors; now, it’s turning its attention to gaming streamers, specifically the youthful sort. The South China Morning Post reported yesterday that China is also blocking kids under 16 from streaming on stream platforms. This, just like the earlier crackdown, will mean more compliance costs and efforts by companies like Tencent already reeling from stock hits, though it might be harder for kids themselves to circumvent. Unless they wear a fancy moustache or something, we guess.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, the country’s Committee of Advertising Practice published new guidance for purchases inside of video games and storefronts as well as advertising for them, including requirements to clearly label the real-world cost of premium currencies, though as VG247 notes, some games with in-game methods for earning currency will likely be exempted anyway.
“CAP and BCAP were concerned that the combination of proprietary virtual currency, bundling, and odd-pricing may have a serious impact on the ability of consumers (particularly children or vulnerable people) to understand how much real-world money they are spending on in-game items and, therefore, impact on their ability to make an informed decision about a purchase. Under the Advertising Codes, where an ad quotes a price for a product, the inclusive price of the product (or how it is calculated) is material information to a consumer’s transactional decision. Where the price is present but obscured, CAP and BCAP consider that this is unlikely to be compliant with the requirements of the Codes. The proposed guidance, therefore, explained that the real-world prices for in-game purchased products should be made clear to consumers in the storefront, considering the following: Whether proprietary currency is used; How bundling affects price; [and the] relationship between the cost of currency and the cost of items, where odd-pricing is a relevant issue.”
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority was just in headlines earlier in September as it’s the agency that put Star Citizen company Cloud Imperium on notice for misleading advertising of concept ships that don’t exist.