Have you forgotten about the EA microtransactions story that was driving everyone mad last month? Even though the thing blew over quite fast, EA is back in the spotlight since another incident has happened in Cork, Ireland where a boy spent his mother’s entire salary and bonus for points in FIFA 18 without knowing that it’s real money he’s using for it.
As she expained, she bought FIFA 18 for his son using her Debit card which apparently was automatically linked to the game’s microtransactions store. A few days later she tried to withdraw money from the local bank and got an “issuficient funds” message. After contacting the bank to track her previous transaction she found out what truly happened.
Without knowing it, her 14 year-old son spend her entire payment for points in FIFA 18. She explained that “He just didn’t understand but every 10 points was costing him more money”. She didn’t knew how microtransactions work but figured out that parents would have to know about it. She the continued:
“When purchasing the game or playing it, they don’t tell you that this has a cost element. He didn’t have to do anything or click anything to activate my card. He never knew that when he was clicking away the money was being taken out of my account
After realising what happened the mother took her kid back from school and turned the account offline since it was still linked to her Debit. However, the damage was done already and her kid was probably not at fault. He understood what he had done and got locked in his room ever since, thinking he ruined Christmas for the entire family:
“He reckoned he has spoiled Christmas for his family. I can’t even get him to school. There is no point in giving out to him because he is punishing himself more than I could ever have imagined”
FIFA 18 is not the only game featuring microtransactions that could be harmful to families in this way. Games like Call of Duty: World War 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 are only two of the many examples out there using microtransactions.
Parents have to be informed and use the parental control settings on their kids consoles and mobiles so that the situation doesn’t get out of hand. With holidays starting this week, its better to know what you are dealing with before buying gifts.