The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the North American industry body which assigns games age ratings, will expand its labelling on physical boxed games to include warnings of “In-Game Purchases”. This will cover everything that can be bought digitally for real money, from season passes and skins to microtransaction currencies and random loot boxes. They’re only a decade late to noticing all this, then.
Some industry commentators are disappointed that the ESRB don’t take a tougher stance against loot boxes, specifically pointing them out, but it’s no surprise. The ESRB exist to protect big publishers, and recently responded to a US senator’s concerns about loot boxes by calling them “a fun way to acquire virtual items.” Read the rest of this entry »