The ESRB is taking an official stance when it comes to loot boxes and in-game purchases.
The company released an official statement on Twitter this morning. Starting “soon”, game publishers will be required to disclose information to the ESRB if their title include in-game purchases. These in-game purchases are defined as “games that offer the ability to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency.” This change is expected to roll out in the coming weeks for all video games, regardless if they are offered digitally or physically.
The full quote from the ESRB is listed below:
“You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet on the topic of in-game purchases and loot boxes, but we’ve been listening. In fact, we’ve absorbed every tweet, email, Facebook post and singing telegram sent our way, and we’ve been working to develop a sensible approach to let gamers and parents know when a game offers the option to purchase additional content. Starting soon ESRB will begin assigning a brand-new label to physical games: In-Game Purchases. This label, or as we all it interaction element, will appear on boxes (and wherever those games can be downloaded) for all games that offer the ability to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency. This includes feature like bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes, upgrades (e.g., to disable ads) and more. We’re also launching a new website ParentalTools.org to help raise awareness of the helpful tools that parents can use to manage the amount of time or money those crafty kids spend playing games. This is the first step of money! We’ll continue to discuss how to further enhance our rating system with publishers, developers, gamers and especially parents, and we’ll continue to make adjustments as the need arises.”
The Electronic Software Ratings Board, otherwise known as the ESRB, has been known since the mid 90’s for rating a video game’s content for consumer purchasing.
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