Europe is continuing to make efforts to legislate loot boxes and other forms of in-game purchases. PEGI, the official European ratings board for video games, now requires physical copies of games to have a label if they have in-game purchases.
More tales from the loot box frontier.
In a news bulletin posted on their official website, PEGI (Pan European Game Information,) Europe’s version of the ESRB announced a new change to physical copies of games. Originally, only digital games were required to warn players of ‘in-game purchases’. However, a change means physical games sold in stores that have in-game purchases will now have this label:
This move follows a decision by the ESRB to label in-app purchases back in February. In the PEGI announcement, their marketing director Simon Little talks about their decision:
Purchase offers within games has become a broad phenomenon, and it is necessary to provide the same level of consumer information on both physical and digital releases. 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.
Loot boxes and in-game/app purchases have been a big deal in Europe this year. Ever since the Star Wars: Battlefront II debacle, loot boxes have been a noticeable issue. Back in April, Belgium and the Netherlands classified loot boxes as gambling and therefore illegal. This change forced Blizzard to remove paid loot boxes from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm just this week.
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