ESRB Announces it Will Add In-Game Purchases Label to Games

Soon, video games that offer in-game purchases will have a special label attached to them, according to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

As the debate around micro transactions in the gaming community continue to swirl, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) took to Twitter to address many people who have been asking them what they think of the situation. In their tweet (below), they acknowledged the ongoing debate from gamers and announced the idea for a new label.

The label, according to the ESRB, would be featured on any game that offered the ability to purchase digital goods or currency with real world money. This includes things like bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as loot boxes), music, virtual coins, and other forms of in-game currency, season passes, and more. The board also announced it would be launching a new website to help raise awareness of the tools that parents can use to manage the amount of money their children spend on games.

If the tweet above fails to load, you can check out the full statement by the ESRB 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 call it interactive element, will appear on boxes (and where those games can be downloaded) for all games that offer the ability to purchase digital goods of premiums with real world currency. This includes features 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 many! 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.

Thank you for all your patience on this, and your love for the games we rate.

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