Report: Apple Smurfs Capcom on Smurfing Smurf Berries

February 16, 2011 -

While Capcom's Smurfs' Village is one of the top grossing iPhone games in the App Store, reports are circulating that Apple has called publisher Capcom in for a side bar after numerous complaints from parents about "hundreds and thousands of dollars in transactions" made by their children without their consent. I think some of these parents might call this situation smurfing ridiculous.

According to a PocketGamer report - citing "well-placed sources" - Apple has told Capcom in "no uncertain terms" that its free game is causing a lot of headaches for parents and Apple.

The problem has to do with the game's micro-transaction system that lets players buy copious amounts of "Smurf berries." Some of these parents have apparently been given refunds for what they call "accidental purchases."

This is due to Apple's iTunes protocol which doesn't require a re-login for 15 minutes. After that initial log-in, purchases can be made without providing any additional checks.

Of course, all of this - including the reports on refunds - is unconfirmed rumor. We have reached out to Capcom for confirmation.

Source: PocketGamer


Comments

Re: Report: Apple Smurfs Capcom on Smurfing Smurf Berries

The 15 min window is a useful thing, but game makers need to make it clear that you are buying items in the game with REAL MONIES ;every time you buy something. It does not matter if the game in question is Smurfs' Village, a Facebook game, an XBLA/PSN/Wii title; if real currency is involved it should inform the user each time.

Re: Report: Apple Smurfs Capcom on Smurfing Smurf Berries

This reminds me of Jonathan Blow's statement that "social games are evil."

Re: Report: Apple Smurfs Capcom on Smurfing Smurf Berries

This is more a problem with Apple than Capcom, since the 15 minute window is Apple's doing. Maybe Apple should make it so you can turn off that particular feature, though how many people would use it is questionable since most people think convinence>security(see Aaron Barr).

 
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