ESRB Will Label Games With "Random Items" Among Their In-Game Purchases
The ESRB has announced an addition to its ratings that will highlight video games that have randomized items -- a.k.a. "loot boxes" -- for purchase. This is a modification of an earlier policy that indicated whether games had any kind of additional purchases available, randomized or not.
The new label is "In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items)" and it will be applied to any game with purchases of randomized items, whether using real money or currency that can be purchased with real money. The definition of randomized items includes "loot boxes, gacha games, item or card packs, prize wheels, treasure chests, and more."
According to the ESRB's blog post, their research indicates that parents are concerned about their children spending money on in-game purchases in any way -- not just via loot boxes -- and that fewer than a third of them even know and understand what a "loot box" is. It's "game consumers and enthusiasts (not necessarily parents)" who have asked for this kind of labeling, the ESRB said.
Still, it's probably a good step to take, though it falls short of the pledge made by the ESA (which controls the ESRB) "to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomized virtual items" in its members' games. That's supposed to be enacted by the end of 2020, though I could see the chaos caused by the global pandemic pushing that deadline back to some degree.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
You May Enjoy
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Gameplay - First Look From A Third Rate Duelist
You can bring the tabletop game to your PC, but is it firing on all cylinders?By Michael Byrne - 4 days ago
Europe Is Getting A New Game Company, Courtesy Of Former Blizzard Staff And Staff From Other Big Gaming Companies
The new company is headed by Activision Blizzard’s former senior VP of International.By QuintLyn Bowers - 4 days ago
PlanetSide 2's New Water Continent Oshur Is Live
Dive right in with a new campaign, new facilities, and a new underwater weapons.By Jason Winter - 2 days ago
Activision Subsidiary Raven Software Votes To Unionize As Executives Try To Calm Employees Following Sale
Regarding layoffs, CEO Bobby Kotick said Microsoft is "committed to trying to retain as many of our people as possible."By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
Get A Peek At The Combat System In Broken Ranks, Get Ready To Make Some Fast Decisions
Also Whitemoon explains the rules for transferring to Taern to BR.By QuintLyn Bowers - 4 days ago
New Trailer Drops For The Adorable And Kinda Violent Open-World Game Palworld
But Nintendo might have something to say about it.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago