New PEGI Information For In-Game ‘Random Items’
PEGI announced today that video game publishers will start to provide additional information about the nature of in-game purchases. This is in addition to the icon and written advice about these transactions.
If in-game purchases include random items (like loot boxes or card packs), the information will be included in the form of a notice (Includes Paid Random Items) on physical packaging and on digital storefronts.
PEGI has been assigning the in-game purchases descriptor to video games since September 2018. A text box will now be added to provide the additional information if the game features paid random items.
Paid random items are a particular form of optional in-game purchases. This will include all in-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums where players don’t know exactly what they are getting prior to the purchase (e.g. loot boxes, card packs, prize wheels).
“Depending on the game,” state PEGI, “these items may be purely cosmetic or they may have functional value: they can include additional characters, outfits and other appearance upgrades, but also tools or weapons, etc. They may unlock extra levels, add new skills or provide performance upgrades. For the purpose of this descriptor, “paid” random items are those that can be purchased directly with real money and/or those that can be exchanged for an in-game virtual currency that itself can be purchased directly with real money.”
If a game does not include these paid random items, but contains in-game offers to purchase items, it will only display the in-game purchases descriptor.
It is worth noting that the presence of In-Game Purchases or Paid Random Items does not affect the PEGI age rating of a game.