Micropayments and the mentality of “pay and win” have become the curse of games. Large publishers are getting used to releasing projects with basic functionality, immediately giving extended opportunities to those who are willing to pay more. Sometimes games become a pale shadow of themselves if the player does not want to shell out additional money.
The European rating organization PEGI (The Pan-European Game Information Board) has introduced a new icon, which from now on will necessarily mark all games containing built-in purchases.
The system of markings is aimed at helping consumers and, above all, parents, when choosing a game, to keep in mind certain features of filling projects. A new content identifier for in-game purchases will be used on packages of all games sold in the EU that offer additional digital materials such as DLC or in-game items. While the main motive is to provide consumers with information about the possibility of hidden costs in games, this marking is the result of a lot of heated debate about whether containers and boxes with digital items should be considered a form of gambling and, therefore, require the protection of minors.
PEGI introduced a new labeling based on research conducted by Ipsos, which found that 2 out of 5 parents in the EU say that their children spend money in the game and that in the four major European markets (Britain, France, Spain, and Germany) about 80% parents agree with the Internet spending of their children. However, in some countries legislation has already been adopted that classifies the container system as gambling.