Updated April 13, 2020: According to GamesIndustry, the ESRB has introduced new warning labels for loot boxes.
Every since Star Wars Battlefront II implemented — and later removed — egregious pay-to-win microtransactions, games rating bodies, and governments, are fighting back against the practice. While organizations like the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and Pan European Game Information (PEGI) can’t ban loot boxes, they can inform gamers that a certain game features them.
PEGI Managing Director Simon Little issued the following statement on the addition of the “In-Game Purchases” warning.
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.
It’s great to see that organizations like PEGI are providing more information to those who buy certain games. Hopefully, the American ESRB will follow and implement a similar standard.