In February this year, we reported that the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) would take action against loot boxes by adding an in-game purchases label after the whole Star Wars: Battlefront II debacle brought the loot box debate to a whole new level.
The ESRB operates in the US and their counterpart in Europe will now do the same. Pan European Game Information (PEGI) will add an in-game purchases label to retail copies of video games “that offer the option to purchase digital good with real currency” and this label will start appearing on retail copies of games by the end of this year.
This will be done with the goal of informing parents about the possibility of spending money in a game prior to the purchase of said game. I, for one, think it is a great move and I simply can’t see the downside to this. Parents get to protect their wallets from disaster and it shouldn’t affect most gamers out there really.
The new descriptor from PEGI was announced in an official post about the in-game purchases label on retail copies of video games. Check out a picture of the full label that will appear on retail copies of video games with in-game purchases below.
Simon Little, the Managing Director of PEGI S.A., explains the situation and why PEGI decided to add this label to retail copies of video games, stating that:
“Making parents aware of the existence of optional in-game purchases upfront is an important first step. PEGI will now make this information available at the point of purchase, so that a parent can decide whether and how they want to monitor and/or limit a child’s spending.
While we know that parents use different methods to control spending, parental control tools are a very helpful next step in making sure that the overall online experience of the child is safe, including the possibility to control spending. Entering into a dialogue with the child about the games they enjoy is certainly a must for all parents. It will provide them with the necessary context to create a gaming environment both the children and the parents are comfortable with.” – Source
Although this is a great move, one has to remember that it is still up to the parents and it is their responsibility to safeguard their children and their wallets from in-game purchases. If you are going to give, for example, your credit card details to a child who happens to play games, then with or without this label it is fully your responsibility.
What do you think about the in-game purchases label that PEGI plans to add to retail copies of video games? Let us know in the comment section below.
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