PEGI to Add Content Warning Label to Games With In-Game Purchases

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

We have learned (via GameIndustry.biz) that PEGI, the Pan European Game Information game ratings board, is introducing a new content warning for games that have in-game microtransactions.

In the wake of Star Wars Battlefront II, gamers reacted poorly to its loot-crates, and how those who did not pay were severely hampered. The situation grew so bad, several countries threatened to make regulations against loot-crate style DLC. The whole debacle cost EA $3 Billion in stock value

Games that offered purchase of lootboxes such as Overwatch and Counter-Strike had to remove those features in the Netherlands and Belgium after outcry from their respective politicians.

PEGI have introduced a new content warning label for physical game boxes. Similar warning labels are used for content such as horror, violence, and sexual content. You can find the new In-Game Purchases warning label below:

While PEGI had implemented similar warnings for digital games via IARC (International Age Rating Coalition), this is the first time the organization has applied the warning to a physical game.

PEGI managing director Simon Little stated:

Purchase offers within games has become a broad phenomenon, and it is necessary to provide the same level of consumer information on both physical and digital releases. Considering that physical releases are an important part of the market, this was an important gap to fill. For a parent who may not be fully familiar with the video games landscape, seeing this simple descriptor on the packaging of a game they consider buying should trigger the reflex of keeping an eye on the gameplay, once the game has been purchased and given to the child. It’s basic information, but that’s what parents sometimes feel they are lacking.

PEGI also cited research, stating only 2% of parents do not monitor their child’s spending. Only 40% spent money in game, and over 80% had agreements on how much to spend.

There is no news as to what does and does not constitute In-Game purchases via this classification. For example where the line will be drawn for DLC, or if this only counts as purchases that are “consumable”.

The new warning label will be implemented “in the coming months”.


Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.