While it took far longer than needed, something is finally being done about loot boxes and in-game purchases, as the Electronic Software Rating Board took to Twitter to announce their plans to begin labeling physical games that contain in-game purchases with a warning on the box. This is something similar how the ESRB handled online gaming back in the day.
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) February 27, 2018
This new campaign is aimed at parents who purchase games for their children, as kids are primarily the way these things are being marketed to and many parents are oblivious to the way things work today in regards to how companies market and sell downloadable content. It’s a step in the right direction to helping parents make informed decisions on loot boxes and additional purchases.
Heading over to the ESRB website pulls up a bit of information for parents and how to limit the number of in-game purchases and more assets are coming in the future to help expand this.
I’m in no way a fan of loot boxes and in-game purchases, and only really consider spending the extra money when developers push and release content worth spending my money on, like The Witcher 3 expansions that added additional hours and new locations with contained stories to explore and uncover.
I’m still not sure why it took the ESRB this long to respond to the matter as this is only an issue at store level. With games available digitally, games have been labeled for gambling for some time now and there is less of a chance of a child attempting to purchase online than a store that has no labels and warning reminding parents that there are hidden costs tucked away into the final product.