The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has announced that they will be adding an ‘In-game Purchases’ tag on video games that include microtransactions in an attempt to inform gamers and parents when a game includes in-game purchases.
The introduction of this new label has come about as a result of the controversy surrounding microtransactions in games, particularly loot boxes. To address the issue and to help inform gamers and parents better, the ESRB state that they have been looking to develop a sensible approach to the issue and have, therefore, come up with this new label.
This new label will appear on the boxes of physical games, as well as for downloadable titles that offer players the option of purchasing digital goods or premiums with real world currency. These in-game purchases can range from bonus levels, skins and loot boxes to season passes, subscriptions and the purchasing of in-game currency which is often then used to unlock new skins or perks.
In addition to launching the new label, the ESRB have also launched a new website, ParentalTools.org, to help raise awareness of the tools available to parents to help them manage the amount of time and money their children spend on video games.
While these steps won’t put an end to developers or publishers using microtransactions, especially in full-priced titles, it will at least help to inform parents in particular what they can expect from games with regards to additional purchases.
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) 27 February 2018