Ukie response to OFT consultation on proposed principles for Children’s Online Games

 Ukie continue to welcome the consultative approach the OFT have taken. Clear guidance on the OFT’s interpretation of the law, and any changes to common industry practices that may be necessary as a result, is preferable to a direct move to enforcement against individual companies.

However, there is not enough clarity in the way the principles have been presented for our members to be confident about whether or not they will have to make changes to their games or practices. Our members believe they have been acting within the law in offering their games up to this point, and have not yet been given sufficient explanation of why this might not be the case.

This lack of clarity has two aspects. Firstly, the specific legal basis for some of the demands being made in the principles is unclear. Secondly, the examples given leave far too much uncertainty for companies to have any confidence that they are acting within what the OFT sees as the bounds of the law. Both of these issues must be solved if games companies are to have any certainty over how the OFT sees the regulations applying to our industry, and make any necessary changes as a result.