In order to let people know of loot boxes and other paid microtransactions, the ESRB is now going to feature a new label on video game covers to let consumers now that ‘in-game purchases’ are possible. This small label could help prevent naive parents from buying games that their kids might spend a lot of money on.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) made the announcement via a press release that was issued today. It will be featured on boxed physical games telling people in-game goods are purchasable with real money. It includes the following “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 and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads)“.
“The video game industry is evolving and innovating continually, as is the ESRB rating system. 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,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “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
This is a step in the right direction since microtransactions and loot boxes got a lot of flak when lots of AAA games featured them late last year. With all the warning signs, parents could now be more cautious in order to prevent their kids spending real money on a lot of digital in-game goods.