Last week, a 45-year-old California man named Kevin Lee Co pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that he embezzled $4.8 million from the heavy equipment company where he worked. The unusual twist in the story is that he then spent $1 million of the money he stole on in-app purchases for the mobile app Game of War.
While the amounts of money involved in this case are certainly an outlier, Game of War has previously come under scrutiny for the amount of money players are spending on in-app purchases. The game brings in more than $1 million per day, and the average player spent $550 on the game last year. That’s either impressive or concerning depending on your perspective. One commentator said Game of War is “like gambling, but with no possibility of winning.”
While the story is out of the ordinary, it could have bigger implications for the mobile development industry if situations like this one capture the attention of lawmakers and regulators.