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The Smurfs Demonstrate the Danger of In-App Payments

November 17th, 2010 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Marketing Strategies, Platforms: iOS | No Comments »

It seems parents all over the world have something to fear from now that kids are playing Smurfs’ Village on their iOS devices as kids seem to be plundering creditcards to acquire virtual Smurfberries.

At the surprise of many, Smurfs’ Village has been outranking Angry Birds on the top grossing charts. As it turns out (thanks to ME for spotting this) kids are massively buying smurfberries through in-app purchases. This is where the wonderfull one-click buying scheme from Apple starts kicking back as parents seem to have lost control over their credit.

The comments on the Smurfs Village page show outraged parents claiming their kids spent hundreds of euro’s within the game. We see many Dutch consumers in iTunes warning each other about the game. This could go off in mobile games history as the ‘Scam of the Smurfs’.

What is interesting to note is that the currency in the Smurfberry shop is not even adapting to the local currency. We took the screenshot above from a Dutch iTunes account. Another sign kids might think it is not about real money.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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