PEGI today announced that it will include a new content descriptor icon for physical releases of games, giving parents a heads up on potential in-game purchases options. “In-game purchases” is already one of the descriptors used by PEGI for digital-only games (using the IARC process), but consumers will now also see this icon appear on the packaging of games that can be bought in retail stores.
Also, a consumer survey by Ipsos recently showed that 2 in 5 parents of children that play games, claim that their child spends money in-game. Of those parents, the vast majority (over 8 in 10) have an agreement of some kind about spending. This can take the form of asking permission before each purchase (60%), a weekly or monthly spending limit (31%), use of parental control tools (28%), monitoring credit card bills (25%) or the use of pre-paid value cards (20%). Only 2% of parents do not monitor their children’s spending.
The new in-game purchases descriptor comes as an important step in making parents more aware of optional in-game purchases whether digital or physical. Also, it can be used alongside the parental control tools already available to help parents and their children have a safer experience when playing games. The new in-game purchases descriptor will be applied to all games that offer the option to purchase digital goods with real currency. It will start appearing on physical releases towards the end of this year.