Gree and DeNA set teen spending caps

Japanese social gaming companies Gree and DeNA are to introduce caps on spending for players under 20.

From today, Gree will limit players aged 15 and under to ¥5,000 (£38/$62) per month and those aged 16 to 19 to ¥10,000 (£76/$124).

DeNA will set the same limits for anyone younger than 16 from June onwards, but its ¥10,000 cap will only apply to those aged 16 and 17.

The caps come in response to growing calls for such limitations as Japan's youth rack up tens of thousands of yen in purchases a month without parental consent. 

Four other social game companies – NHN Japan Corp., CyberAgent Inc., Dwango Co. and Mixi Inc. – joined Gree and DeNA on a joint committee set up in March to discuss how to ensure young players spend reasonable, and parentally approved, amounts.

While Western developers are yet to impose such rules, it may not be long before similar limitations are put in place. Last month, Apple failed to dismiss a class action lawsuit brought by a group of parents frustrated at the ease with which their children could spend money in apps, demonstrating the growing severity of the issue.