ESRB will now alert consumers to games containing microtransactions

ESRB will now alert consumers to games containing microtransactions

American video games rating board ESRB has revealed it will be warning consumers about microtransactions within games.

The body announced the move via Twitter (below), saying that both boxed titles and the product pages for digital titles in the US, Canada and Mexico will display a label highlighting in-game spending.

There are still questions around how this could be implemented - for example, if a game is released in a box without microtransactions, but later patches them in, how is that handled?

European rating agency PEGI is also discussing whether to implement something similar. the firm said

"PEGI is indeed discussing this," operations director Dirk Bosmans told Eurogamer.

"We are already providing an in-game purchases descriptor for some games (those that get a PEGI rating via the IARC system: digital games and apps like on Google Play or in the Nintendo eShop). But in-game purchase offers are also available in games that are sold on discs, so it makes sense that we provide the same type of information across the entire range. We are still working on this."

This follows a backlash to in-game monetisation, specifically around Star Wars Battlefront II which was rather aggressive with how loot crates were implemented in the sci-fi shooter.

This backfired so hard, in fact, that politicians and gambling commissions from around the world have been asked to get involved.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.