If a game has in-game spending, such as microtransactions, you will soon see a warning label on boxed retail games indicating that the game has additional spending mechanisms in addition to what you’re spending to purchase the game.
GamesIndustry.biz notes that in response to the growing concerns over microtransactions and loot boxes, the PEGI ratings board for European game releases will address the issue by adding a warning label to the game box.
According to PEGI managing director Simon Little, he stated…
“Considering that physical releases are an important part of the market, this was an important gap to fill.
“For a parent who may not be fully familiar with the video games landscape, seeing this simple descriptor on the packaging of a game they consider buying should trigger the reflex of keeping an eye on the gameplay, once the game has been purchased and given to the child. It’s basic information, but that’s what parents sometimes feel they are lacking.”
It is true that a lot of games these days have microtransactions tucked within them, either to purchase cosmetics for characters, or booster packs to improve in-game performance. Giving parents a heads-up on whether or not a game has additional in-game spend using real-world money is a great way to let parents know whether or not it’s a game worth purchasing for their kid, and whether or not they should allow their kid to play it unsupervised.
According to the article, PEGI already provides labels for digital-only products that contain in-app purchases thanks to their collaboration with the IARC, the International Age Rating Coalition.
However, PEGI wanted to extend the facilitation of information for product awareness to the physical retail releases of games as well.
This is apparently a compromise compared to the more drastic and necessary measures taken by the Belgian Gaming Commission and the Netherlands regulators who banned the use of loot boxes in games like Overwatch, FIFA and Counter-Strike until publishers acquired a gambling license.
Since all the top publishers have avoided registering for a gambling license, they instead opted to comply with the law and remove the loot boxes from within their games.
(Thanks for the news tip The Positivist)
(Main image courtesy of spartan-R014)