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Microtransactions have been called out by none other than Kanye West. According to some recent tweets, Yeezus is none-too-pleased with the inclusion of these types of purchases, specifically in games designed for children.
The folks at Gamespot were first to the scene of this most recent Twitter outburst, where Kanye West put mobile games on blast for additional charges within the game itself.
His series of tweets are as follows:
Fuck any game company tht puts in-app purchases on kids games!!!...That makes no sense!!!! We give the iPad to our child and every 5 minutes there's a new purchase!!!...If a game is made for a 2 year old, just allow them to have fun and give the parents a break for Christ sake.
I imagine there are a lot of gamers out there, even folks who aren't particularly fond of some of the things West typically has to say, who are starting a slow clap at this very moment.
It's important to note here that Kanye's complaints aren't against microtransactions in general, but instead those plugged into games that are geared at younger players. Sure, Angry Birds has a lot of older players but, coupled with all those toys and a cartoon and an upcoming movie, it's obvious that Rovio understands it has a huge audience of children playing the game. Shifting Angry Birds 2 over to a microtransaction modle, we're guessing, is a big no-no in Kanye West's mind.
I, for one, couldn't agree more. I'd be 100 percent happy to drop a few bucks on a game for my (hypothetical) kid rather than plopping them down in front of a “free” game that they might accidentally make additional purchases for. Even worse are the games that so shamelessly ask the player to make those purchases, which might seem like just part of the game to a youngster. Yes, there are ways to put passwords on your device to prevent unexpected charges from happening, but that doesn't make the inclusion of in-app purchases for kids games less gross. This is something Hulu understands, for instance, as the streaming service doesn't even run ads during programming specifically targeted at a younger audience.
Based on Kanye's tweets, it sounds like he's been the victim of a few-too-many unexpected charges when handing the iPad over to the kiddo. As the original post points out, it's not like the guy is hurting for money here. Instead, he recognizes that there's a legitimate issue with including microtransactions in kids' games and is calling them out for it. When even the Yeez is calling foul, it might be time for mobile developers to finally take note.
For a list of games that were utterly ruined by crappy microtransactions, might I direct your attention here?