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ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

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ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

Old 02-27-18, 03:44 PM
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ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

This won't solve the problem, but at least it's a start and will help build awareness around the issue.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/27/...rchases-label/

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Old 02-27-18, 04:42 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

I feel like they figured this was the least they could do to look to be doing something pro-active about loot boxes, and it's a good move.

However, it may be too little too late, as a lot of states are looking at loot boxes as being straight up gambling. It may be hard to walk back from that.
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Old 02-27-18, 04:48 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

BTW, since twitter pics may vanish over time, the text from their twit pic:

You may have noticed that we've been a little quiet on the topic of in-game purchases and loot boxes, but we've been listening. In fact, we've absorbed every tweet, email, Facebook post and singing telegram sent our way, and we've been working to develop a sensible approach to let gamers and parents know when a game offers the option to purchase additional content. Starting soon ESRB will begin assigning a brand-new label to physical games: In-Game Purchases. This label, or as we call it interactive element, will appear on boxes (and wherever those games can be downloaded) for all games that offer the ability to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency. This includes features like bonus levels, skins, surprise items(such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes, upgrades (e.g., to disable ads) and more. We're also launching a new website ParentalTools.org to help raise awareness of the helpful tools that parents can use to manage the amount of time or money those crafty kids spend playing games. This is the first step of many! We'll continue to discuss how to further enhance our rating system with publishers, developers, gamers and especially parents, and we'll continue to make adjustments as the need arises.

Thank you all for your patience on this, and your love for the games we rate.

ESRB
They also posted a press release PDF on their site:
https://esrbstorage.blob.core.window...inal-22718.pdf


And the new Parental Tools website:
http://www.esrb.org/parentaltools/
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Old 02-27-18, 05:04 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

Every app store I've seen already labels downloads with in-app purchases. I'm not sure how this helps?
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Old 02-27-18, 05:09 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Every app store I've seen already labels downloads with in-app purchases. I'm not sure how this helps?
These ratings apply to retail packages, which apparently didn't have any standardized method of alerting customers of the additional purchases.
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Old 02-27-18, 07:57 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

Yeah, Google and Apple do it differently in their stores where the ESRB doesn't apply. But the nice thing is the ESRB ratings do show up in the XBL and PSN stores, so that should help there too.
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Old 02-28-18, 05:48 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

I don't see how this would work for physical games with DLC, at least if it's not day-one DLC. When a game is released, generally it is not going to prompt you to buy DLC until it's available; that functionality gets added later in an update. If it's sold via an online store like Steam, this is no problem: just update the rating when it happens. But the physical copies that were produced when the game was launched would not have the new label on the box because as shipped, the game did not prompt for purchases.

So would retailers have to put on stickers later, or what? Would publishers have to declare whether DLC was planned or not beforehand?
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Old 02-28-18, 06:59 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

I don't really see the point, especially if they don't separate loot boxes/random draws from paid DLC. But even if they do, what's the point? They should put a special sticker on a game if it doesn't have paid DLC, it would probably save them a bunch of stickers.
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Old 02-28-18, 09:11 PM
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Re: ESRB adding "in-game purchases" label to identify loot boxes and other add-ons

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
I don't see how this would work for physical games with DLC, at least if it's not day-one DLC. When a game is released, generally it is not going to prompt you to buy DLC until it's available; that functionality gets added later in an update....
Typically games have to be built to accommodate DLC, it's not something you can just drop in later. Also, game companies plan out DLC for games far in advance of the game being released, even if some DLC comes out later.

I feel like maybe they could keep it simple on the label, but provide more details on their website for the game, like what specific types of In-Game Purchases that game has. That was the label doesn't become to cluttered, but the info is available to people who want it.
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