Parents across Europe are getting more involved in their children's in-game spending activities, according to a new ISFE survey.
The European gaming trade group today released results of a GameTrack survey of European parents with kids 15 or under centered on how they handle in-game spending. Two of the bigger takeaways were that more parents were prohibiting their kids from in-game spending of any kind, and that those who did allow it had existing agreements with their children to guide it.
In the 2019 survey, 36% of parents said they allowed their children to spend money in-game, down from 42% in 2018. As for how much their kids spent in-game, 62% said the monthly average was between 1 and 20. The next most common answer to that question was "I don't know," with 16% of parents unable to pin it down.
The survey also found that 85% of parents reported having an agreement with their children to regulate in-game spending, even if that was just the child having to ask permission to make a purchase. That's up from 79% in the 2018 survey. Asking for permission was the most popular method to control in-game spending, with 58% of parents requiring it. 35% had an agreement to stick to weekly or monthly allowances, while 26% limited spending by only using pre-paid cards.
Interestingly, gaming devices' built-in parental control tools were only used by 21% of parents surveyed. (The 2018 survey found 28% of parents reported using them.) The presence of those tools has been a significant part of the industry's arguments against potential loot box legislation, as well as its response to concerns of video game addiction.