In-Game Purchase Warnings Will Be Added To New Video Game Boxes
A European video game ratings board has announced that video game boxes will soon warn customers about in-game purchases.
PEGI (Pan European Game Information) revealed the new descriptor that will appear on any game which permits real-world money to be exchanged for digital items.
Games like FIFA and Fortnite are making tons from players trading real currency for virtual currency. This money can then be used to buy in-game items like Ultimate Team packs or character skins, but they are seemingly burning a hole in a lot of parent's pockets.
PEGI already includes a similar warning for download-only games, and their decision to implement them on physical copies is mainly to aid adults buying games for their children who aren't aware of in-game purchases.
"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," PEGI boss Simon Little said [via EuroGamer].
Loot boxes, in one form or another, are pretty much in every major release nowadays. Call of Duty and Overwatch are just two examples of popular titles to sell them - with the latter recently removing them from Belgium and The Netherlands versions of the game.
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This is because the Belgian Gaming Commission recently declared loot boxes as a form of gambling, due to the fact players pay for content which is almost always random. And yes, they can be very addictive.
EA DICE received heavy criticism after the initial launch of Battlefront 2 because the Star Wars title allowed players to buy their way to quick success. Loot boxes contained the best Star Cards that would have normally taken hours of grinding to unlock, but this has since been removed from the game.
In the wake of this controversy, loot boxes are becoming more about unlocking new cosmetic items rather than acting as a pay-to-play platform. They are, however, becoming easier to buy - which is probably why PEGI has chosen to add this new warning to game boxes.
What do you think about this news? Will the warnings help parents? Will people still buy the game anyway? What other methods should be put into place? Let us know.
Featured Image Credit: Activision