In a press release today the ESRB announced they would be adding in-game purchases labels to all physical games. This will include any additional purchases that a game might have that costs real-world currency and is a big pivot in the modern age of loot boxes and downloadable content.In what could be seen as taking action before any government involvement can take place, the ESRB will advertise on physical games an "In-Game Purchases" label if they contain any post-purchase content that can be had for real-world currency. An official start date for this new policy was not specified only that:
"Consumers can expect to start seeing this new notice on all games that can be purchased in stores and wherever those games can be downloaded in the near future."
The development of the in-game purchases label comes in the wake of the recent controversy with games like Electronic Arts' Star Wars: Battlefront II where complaints erupted from angry fans about the built-in loot crate system, making it difficult to excel in the game without spending money.
The ESRB also announced in the press release that a website, ParentalTools.org, has been created to explain to parents the details about the new label.
I tried to look at the site myself, and all I could find was a YouTube video that talks shortly about setting parental controls and encouraging parents to play games with their kids. This probably isn't the best solution to the issue but it at least addresses it, and I can admire the effort.
Do you think the new label will help combat the rising trend of in-game purchases or do you think it will be irrelevant as the industry moves forward? If you feel like discussing this topic with us, we would love to read your opinions in the comments.