European ratings board adding in-game purchase label to boxed games
European ratings board PEGI is introducing a new label to let parents know when a retail game features in-game purchases.
The icon (shown at the top of the article) will be visible on the packaging of physical releases that let players spend cash in-game, and comes as the debate around monetisation techniques like loot boxes rages on.
PEGI managing director Simon Little has indicated the decision was borne out of a desire to inform parents who may unknowingly let their children play games that contain additional spending options.
Little believes it's important for parents to talk to their children about how they spend money in video games, and hopes the new icon will help them realize when it's time to have that chat.
"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 or limit a child’s spending," explained Little.
"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."
The new icon will start appearing on packaging towards the end of this year, and will only apply to games that allow real world cash to be spent.