The long bat­tle over in-game pur­chas­es might final­ly be over. Announced ear­li­er today, the ESR­B’s pres­i­dent, Patri­cia Vance, revealed her plans on upcom­ing changes for titles that include and in-game purchases. 

An addi­tion­al label will accom­pa­ny any phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal copies of games, as well as mobile. This includes bonus lev­els, skins, loot boxes/crates/mystery items, music, vir­tu­al coins, sea­son pass­es, sub­scrip­tions, and even things like ad dis­abling purchases. 

Law­mak­ers are most con­cerned with how these pur­chas­es will affect young chil­dren, or kids in their ear­ly teens. The ESRB is hop­ing the changes to the label­ing will be enough to warn par­ents about what is actu­al­ly in the game. Vance stat­ed that a “lot of research over the past sev­er­al weeks and months, par­tic­u­lar­ly among par­ents.” For most of the par­ents, they had no idea what a loot box was, and if they did, they were more con­cerned about the mon­ey being spent and not how it was spent. 

ESRB’s goal is to ensure that par­ents have the most up-to-date and com­pre­hen­sive tools at their dis­pos­al to help them decide which games are appro­pri­ate for their chil­dren. With the new In-Game Pur­chas­es inter­ac­tive ele­ment com­ing to phys­i­cal games, par­ents will know when a game con­tains offers for play­ers to pur­chase addi­tion­al con­tent. More­over, we will be expand­ing our efforts to edu­cate par­ents about the con­trols cur­rent­ly at their dis­pos­al to man­age in-game spend­ing before their kids press ‘Start’.” stat­ed Vance.

The ESRB has set up a web­site direct­ed towards teach­ing par­ents the “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to their kids play­ing games. At ParentalTools.org, par­ents are informed on how to use parental con­trols to man­age video game use, includ­ing mon­ey, who they play with, and the amount of time a child can play. It also gives them greater details about what in-game pur­chas­es real­ly are. This is just a tiny part of a nation­wide cam­paign to help edu­cate parents.

Source: Rolling Stone