The ESRB has announced that it will soon affix a new label on physical games that feature a variety of paid in-game purchases, including loot boxes, season passes, and DLC. In addition, the game-ratings organization has launched a new site designed to inform parents about in-game purchases and how to enable parental tools to prevent their kids from racking up in-game charges without their permission.
The announcement follows high-profile blowbacks on loot crates, which have included calls from politicians for the organization to more closely monitor those kinds of in-game purchases.
The ESRB isn’t flagging loot crates in particular, but they’re included in a blanket label, which includes “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.”
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) February 27, 2018
Considering that virtually every contemporary game features at least one of these types of in-game purchases, it seems like a way for the group to seemingly address parental and political concerns without diving headfirst into the loot-crate controversy.