Following pressure from the European Commission, not to mention legal action against games that have skirted the line between free and paid, Google is to stop calling games with in-app purchases 'free'.
According to Engadget, the EU has asked both Google and Apple to implement changes to the way apps are sold through their stores, including not misleading consumers about supposedly 'free' games, not "directly exhorting" children to buy in-game items, thoroughly informing customers about payment arrangements and forcing games developers to provide contact information.
Google has said it will implement several of these changes starting at the end of September, including removing the word 'free' from any game with in-app purchases, producing targeted guidelines for games to prevent children being encouraged to buy items and measures designed to monitor breaches of EU law.
While Apple has not provided EU legislators with any firm solutions or a timeframe in which it plans to address the concerns raised, it has promised to deal with the problem. It also issued a statement emphasizing the strength of its parental controls, and saying, "These controls go far beyond the features of others in the industry. But we are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we're adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store."