The ESRB, otherwise known as the Entertainment Software Rating Board, has revealed plans to assign a new label to video games that feature randomised loot boxes. Loot boxes have been a sore spot for gamers as the mechanic has become more and more commonplace, though this is the first time the ESRB will be specifically labelling games containing randomised loot.
The “In-Game Purchases” label has been assigned to games by the ESRB in the past, but the new label, which reads “Includes Random Items” is being added to increase transparency so gamers know exactly what they’re getting.
In a detailed blog post, the ESRB writes: “According to research, parents are far more concerned about their child’s ability to spend real money in games than the fact that those in-game purchases may be randomized,
“This data helped to inform the introduction of the In-Game Purchases Interactive Element. That being said, since adding the In-Game Purchases notice to ratings assigned to physical games many game consumers and enthusiasts (not necessarily parents) have reached out to us asking the ESRB to include additional information to identify games that include randomized purchases.
“The In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items) Interactive Element was developed in response to those requests. By including more specificity about the randomized nature of the in-game purchases, consumers can make more informed decisions when purchasing or downloading a game, instead of finding out after the fact.”
Responding to queries as to why the label doesn’t simply read “contains loot boxes,” the ESRB explains that the new label is to cover both the inclusion of randomised loot and additional paid elements that might not necessarily take the form of a loot box.
It’s believed that the label will not be applied to existing games, but will be seen on new releases going forward.
Whether or not the new label will have an effect on those purchasing the game remains to be seen.
Featured Image Credit: ESRB