Over the course of the last several months, the subject of in-game purchases has been a hot topic of conversation within the gaming industry. With that in mind, after months of silence, the Entertainment Software Rating Board has responded on how they will approach in-game purchases going forward.
This news comes from the official ESRB Twitter account, which has stated that all physically packaged games that feature in-game purchases will include a label disclosing consumers of that fact “in the near future.” According to the board, the new program expands on a similar concept, which is found on digital store pages.
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) February 27, 2018
The statement also revealed that the “in-game purchases” label would be visible on the right side corner by the game’s letter rating. However, it will be separated from existing content factors like “Blood and Gore” and “Strong Language;” the label will be equally distributed to all games that include any additional content to be purchased, including in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes and loot boxes.
Additionally, the ESRB has launched an awareness campaign to provide parents helpful tools that will help them manage the amount of money and time kids are spending on games including in-game purchases under a new website called ParentalTools. While the ESRB is not taking any direct action on the loot box controversy per se, this new initiative is designed to be an adequate approach to tackling the loot box controversy.