On Tuesday, ESRB addressed the tension between the gaming community and industry on Twitter with the tweet below.
This announcement signals a change in attitude after recent efforts by lawmakers along with public concern over the murky practice of in-game purchases by the gaming industry.
The tweet about the new label was followed by a press release from the gaming rating council. In the statement, the ESRB addresses the concern many parents have over the contentious practice. ESRB president Patricia Vance states:
With the new In-Game Purchases interactive element coming to physical games, parents will know when a game contains offers for players to purchase additional content. Moreover, we will be expanding our efforts to educate parents about the controls currently at their disposal to manage in-game spending before their kids press ‘Start’.”
The label will be featured in both physical games and downloads.
The ESRB has been working in conjunction with the Family Online Safety Institute on this new effort to curb children from spending real-world currency in games. CEO and founder Stephen Balkham commends the organization’s decision to aid parents in video game purchases by mentioning that the new label “further empowers parents with the tools they need to make informed decisions.”
Along with the new label, ESRB launched a new website focusing on aiding parents in becoming aware of in-game purchases, parental controls and the gaming rating system. There is a national campaign addressing the issue, along with a PSA featured on the website and other outlets.
With the ESRB throwing its muscle behind the loot box backlash, one can hope that the gaming industry will take note and either modify the practice or come up with more economical tactics for players.
See the ESRB’s PSA on in-game purchasing below.