What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Microtransactions

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Carly Page Experienced technology journalist

This free online safety guide looks at microtransactions – those in-app or in-game purchases which can tempt young users into regular online spending.

Microtransactions figure in the business model of many game and app developers, allowing them to bring in ongoing revenue as users continue to pay for extra features and content; even software that’s initially free to download can be monetised in this way. It’s a system which has featured in many of younger gamers’ perennial favourite franchises, from Fortnite to FIFA.

As well as encouraging regular spending, however, microtransactions – especially the increasingly common use of loot boxes – have also been scrutinised for what many argue is a resemblance to gambling, with the potential to foster addictive behaviours. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide tells parents and carers what they need to know about microtransactions.