New ESRB Warning Label Announced For Loot Boxes & Microtransactions
The regulatory organization has finally spoken on the much-criticized practices.
From Quake Champions to Overwatch, loot boxes have become a regular occurrence across the gaming industry. The ESRB is the regulatory entity tasked with determining what games are fit for what ages and it is finally addressing the much-discussed loot crates and microtransactions of recent games. The Entertainment Software Rating Board is introducing a new label to physical games: In-Game Purchases.
Some tread lightly with cosmetic content that doesn’t affect gameplay, existing to liven up the experience, but others go loud and drop loot crates right onto the beaches of Normandy or include game breaking enhancement cards that change the dynamic of the game you earn them in. The ESRB recognizes that the inclusion of these things is important to the player or parents of a player and this is the full statement from the official Twitter account:
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) February 27, 2018
In addition to the new label, the new parental tool to manage the amount of time or money kids spend on games will likely influence how developers approach the addition of loot boxes and microtransactions going forward. Will the new label be enough? Certainly not. There has to be a conversation around the differences between expansions and the more consistent microtransactions, at least to start.
Other regions like China have taken steps to regulate loot boxes and, for the ESRB, this step is considered the “first step of many” and it will be interesting to see how the conversation around these controversial topics evolves.
Charles Singletary posted a new article, New ESRB Warning Label Announced For Loot Boxes & Microtransactions