Apple on Friday was slapped with a proposed class action lawsuit over loot boxes contained within games and apps, a mechanism typically characterized by in-app purchases of digital coins, gameplay, and other rewards.
A complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges Apple is complicit in promoting gambling and addictive behavior by allowing developers to market apps and games with loot boxes on the App Store.
Loot boxes are broadly defined as in-app purchases that grant users rewards, boosts, costumes, skins, weapons, or other special items. Popular in games, loot boxes provide a randomized chance to gain premium items, a mechanic that some closely associate with gambling. Indeed, real money is spent to obtain these special goods, sometimes through an in-game currency system.
Apple is being targeted by the complaint because it profits from in-app purchases… Named plaintiff Rebecca Taylor claims her son, “C.T.,” spent at least $25 in iTunes gift cards and his parents’ money on loot boxes for Supercell’s Brawl Stars… Also mentioned in the complaint are Mario Kart Tour, FIFA Soccer, and Roblox, which along with Brawl Stars constitute some of the most popular games on iOS.
Apple is also dinged for not explicitly noting the inclusion of loot boxes in App Store descriptions and allowing developers to age rate their own products.
MacDailyNews Take: Imagine if parents actually did their jobs. America, for one among many, would be a very different (read: far better) place today if they did.
Apple is not your mommy or daddy.
If Apple allowed developers to age-rate their own products what do you think the unscrupulous developers would do?
1. Apple’s App Store entry for Brawl Stars specifically states “Offers In-App Purchases.”
2. Apple provides a wide range of parental controls for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, including the ability to prevent iTunes and App Store purchases. Parents can prevent children from being able to install or delete apps, make in-app purchases, and more.
To prevent iTunes & App Store purchases or downloads:
• Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
• Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode.
• Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
• Choose a setting and set to Don’t Allow.
Parents can also change their password settings for additional purchases from the iTunes and App Store or Book Store by following the above steps and choosing “Always Require” or “Don’t Require.”
3. Case closed.