ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

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ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#1

Post by Valigarmander » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:19 pm

https://www.polygon.com/2018/2/27/17057 ... ases-label
The Entertainment Software Rating Board will begin labeling video games that contain in-game purchases, a response to lawmakers who have noticed the outcry over so-called loot crate systems and have signaled a willingness to legislate them.

The labeling will “be applied to games with in-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency,” the ESRB said in a news release this morning, “including but not limited to 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 and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads).”

Additionally, the ESRB has begun an awareness campaign meant to highlight the controls available to parents whose households have a video game console.

The developments come three months after Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront 2 raised the furor over loot crates to a mainstream news concern. In loot crate systems, players purchase a virtual box, whose contents are unknown, with virtual currency typically earned in the game. Typically, these crates can be acquired with a secondary currency that is bought for real money. Battlefront 2 drew attention because of the way the crate items were tied to player advancement within the main game, as opposed to being an optional or cosmetic part of it. Electronic Arts suspended real-money transactions in Battlefront 2 the day before the game’s full launch back in November.

Since then, however, representatives from three governmental gambling commissions have weighed in on loot crates, discussing whether the activity falls under their nations’ gambling laws. Two weeks ago, lawmakers in Hawaii introduced four bills that would regulate the sale of games that feature loot boxes. A day later, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) wrote the ESRB to ask it to examine how video games are rated with respect to loot-box features.
I figured something like this was bound to happen, and I'm kind of glad it finally is.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#2

Post by New! Tazy Ten » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:37 pm

Good.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#3

Post by DarkZero » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:01 pm

i thought they already did, but what do i know, i stopped paying attention to esrb ratings once i was old enough to just buy anything i wanted

anyway i'm glad this is a thing now, i'm a fan of having more transparency with these kinds of things.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#4

Post by I am nobody » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:13 pm

What does this accomplish without also enforcing a minimum rating? It'll stop the few parents who read labels and are opposed to microtransactions while simultaneously not being interested enough to have done a minute's research on their own, but everyone else was already not buying these games or will continue to not read the label.

They're going to have to do a lot better than that if they want anyone to believe the industry can handle this one on its own.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#5

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:53 pm

^ It's a step in the right direction.

I think this is great. ESRB has seemed stagnant for a while, I actually wish they'd add more labels and descriptors, if not on the box then through links.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#6

Post by Shane » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:55 pm

I had to look and see if they even had these on Steam. They do, but I never noticed.

I guess they don't care to differentiate between mystery item purchases and known item purchases, so they aren't really addressing the issue of loot boxes at all.
Now I know there's a reason you shouldn't blame others when you do something wrong, and that reason is: you might get caught and have to apologize to a bunch of dumb peasants.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#7

Post by I am nobody » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:03 pm

I REALLY HATE POKEMON! wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:53 pm
^ It's a step in the right direction.
I'm not denying that it is moving in the right direction, but they didn't do this because they suddenly realized that. They were defending microtransactions of all kinds as perfectly harmless until they started facing government pressure, and as a result of that they've decided to take a step that technically addresses the problem without actually having much chance of impacting the business models of the companies they represent. They're doing this because they hope it's the only step in the right direction that either the industry or regulators are going to take.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#8

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:34 pm

Yeah, you're right about that. I don't think it will be enough and they're probably aware; Shane pointed out a big issue I think they'll address next, mystery loot boxes specifically.

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Re: ESRB to label games with in-game purchases.

#9

Post by Shane » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:14 am

If they're also hitting games with DLC, this will quickly become pointless when it's on everything.
Now I know there's a reason you shouldn't blame others when you do something wrong, and that reason is: you might get caught and have to apologize to a bunch of dumb peasants.

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