Games with loot boxes getting a tag from ESRB

News PlayStation Xbox One

The subject of loot boxes has become quite the bone of contention among gamers – from those strongly opposed to them to those that just want some clarity on their impact on the games they love. Today, the ESRB have announced that they will be assigning an “in-game purchases’ label to physical copies of games where loot boxes are prevalent.

To help parents negotiate the loot box mine field and help curb their child’s spending, a new website has been launched. The website runs through how to set up parental controls and set up controls for spending.

“The video game industry is evolving and innovating continually, as is the ESRB rating system. ESRB’s goal is to ensure that parents have the most up-to-date and comprehensive tools at their disposal to help them decide which games are appropriate for their children,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “With the new In-Game Purchases interactive element coming to physical games, parents will know when a game contains offers for players to purchase additional content. Moreover, we will be expanding our efforts to educate parents about the controls currently at their disposal to manage in-game spending before their kids press ‘Start’.”

While it’s great to see that the subject of loot boxes may finally get the attention it deserves, slapping some extra print on a game cover isn’t going to cut it in my book – I mean come on – how many of us have seen a ‘parent’ in a game store buying little jimmy, who is quite clearly of young age, a copy of GTA?

If the parents are ignoring age ratings, why will they pay any heed to a loot box label? Is the problem the games companies looking to score an extra dollar or two, or the kids that are addicted to collecting loot box goodies?

Answers in a loot box.

I've been gaming for longer than I care to remember and spent four years writing for another XCN website leading a 10 strong team. Now I'm in charge of TiX alongside Dave Moran – I hope you enjoy what we do!