serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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GREE In Trouble For Advertising “Free Social Games”

Japanese newspaper Sankei is reporting trouble for GREE: the “Kansai Consumers Support Organization”, an Osaka-based NPO, has asked GREE stop using the words “free of charge” in commercials, as the organization thinks this claim violates the Japanese truth-in-advertising law.

In fact, GREE already reacted back in November, when it stopped showing TV ads displaying the phrase due to the complaint. GREE now said they will continue not to use the phrase anymore, even though the ads shown before November showed text that explained that some elements in their social games are subject to fees.

Nothing earth-shattering here, but this is probably one of the most radical decisions GREE has ever made in advertising its free-to-play games (for which players can buy virtual in-game items using real money). In Japan, the company has been under criticism from various sides for its business model for years.

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.