Many Canadians believe that parents are to blame for children making in-game purchases, says survey

‘Freemium’ games — titles that are free to download but contain in-app purchases — are becoming increasingly popular across a wide variety of platforms.

A recent poll of 1,534 Canadians by the Angus Reid Institute revealed that six in ten (62 percent to be exact) of Canadians believe that parents are to blame for children making in-game/in-app purchases.

However, 48 percent of Canadians believe there should be federal regulations aimed at preventing children from making in-app purchases without parental supervision.

The survey also found that one in seven Canadians experience children buying things they weren’t supposed to, via a mobile device. Four percent had someone in their own household do this, while nine percent said the child of a family member or close friend made the purchase. This is even more common for adults under the age of 35, where the likelihood increases to one-in-five.


Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that games that are meant for all-ages should not allow in-app purchases, though only 11 percent blame app developers for unauthorized purchases by children ages four to ten. While oddly enough, 61 percent of users who regularly download apps that feature in-app purchase believe that government intervention is not needed.

Lastly, 72 percent of those surveyed believe that children over the age of ten should know better than to make in-app purchases, while three percent of Canadians say children under that age are at fault for this.

For methodology regarding the institute’s study, follow this link.

Source: Angus Reid Institute