The new The Snowman and The Snowdog application places a limit to in-app purchasing.
The classic holiday favorite “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs is now available in digital form, but while it does feature many of the spending components that are standard in mobile gaming, it has taken a unique tack in order to help to curb one of the hottest issues regarding spending while playing the game.
The app is the first one to ever introduce a limit to the amount that can be spent.
This mobile gaming application has been designed to keep in-app spending reasonable by limiting the amount that children are able to spend. The Snowman and the Snowdog has introduced this new feature after a consultation with the government that occurred earlier in 2013 and after hearing about a number of stories in which parents were shocked to discover that their children had run up massive bills while playing games on their smartphones and tablets.
The mobile gaming effort was launched earlier this week in the U.K. by Channel 4, for Android devices, iPhone and iPad.
This app is available for free download and is based on the highly popular Christmas movie. It is also the sequel to last year’s very successful free game that led the British app store downloads in December.
The design of the newest app gives children the ability to spend between £0.99 and £3.99 at a time on virtual snowflakes. Those can be used in the app for customizing their Snowman character or to be able to boost their game play. However, in order to help to reduce the risk of “bill shock” for parents, the total spending has a limit of £20 per player.
According to Colin Macdonald’ the games commissioning editor at Channel 4, “While we had to figure out a way that we could make money from the game, we absolutely could not have anything that might give rise to anyone feeling it was exploitative.” Although limiting the amount of money that can be spent while mobile gaming in a free app is considered to be a form of “commercial suicide”, the company felt the need to place higher priority on responsibility to their customers.