Video game industry responds to Norwegian consumer association report on loot boxes
A new report from a consumer organisation in Norway on loot boxes fails to take into account existing rules and recent guidance from the European Commission that establishes rules on the avoidance of aggressive practices and on how to ensure fairness and transparency where loot boxes are present in video games.
“The industry takes its responsibility to consumers, especially minors, extremely seriously and is committed to ensuring a responsible, fair and transparent gameplay experience, including when in-game purchases and loot boxes are present in games.”Ann Becker, Head of Policy and Public Affairs of ISFE
In 2020, in response to concerns raised on loot boxes, PEGI, the Pan-European Game Information System, developed a notice that informs consumers and players prior to purchase or play of the existence of paid random items (such as loot boxes or card packs) in games. In addition, to provide further transparency, the industry also committed to informing players about the relative rarity or probability of obtaining a paid random virtual item in an easily understandable way, implemented by all major platforms and devices on which players can access video games.
“As a forerunner of the digital economy, for more than a decade now, the video games industry has been engaged in a constant dialogue with the European Commission and European consumer protection authorities on the implementation of the European consumer protection framework on novel business models, innovative technological solutions and ground-breaking artistic content. Loot boxes and other free-to-download game mechanics have been at the core of those discussions, and we are more than happy to continue improving industry practices and self-regulatory actions in cooperation with the consumer law enforcement authorities.”Jari-Pekka Kaleva, Managing Director of EGDF
Note to the editors:
The video games industry is known for its best-in-class minor protection and has spent decades developing parental control tools allowing parents to disable or limit any in-game spending, among other things, and implementing PEGI, the pan-European age rating system, used in 38 countries across Europe.
Parental control tools and information campaigns
All the major video game platforms have parental control tools that allow parents and guardians to manage their children’s game play, as well as giving them the option to limit or disable spending, manage online interaction and set age restrictions. Together with our members, we run educational awareness campaigns across Europe that help inform parents about video games, and the tools that they can access to support them.
ISFE’s most recent GameTrack report on in-game spending revealed that 75% of parents have an agreement with their children on their in-game spending and there is a good awareness of parental control tools that enable parents to set limits or disable any in-game spending (including on loot boxes).
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