The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has announced via Twitter that it will begin assigning a brand-new label, namely, In-Game Purchases. It will appear on boxes (and wherever those games can be downloaded) for all titles that offer a way to purchase digital goods or premiums with real-world cash.
Additionally, the Board is launching a new website ParentalTools.org to help raise the awareness of parents on the matter.
An update on in-game purchases from your friends at ESRB: pic.twitter.com/pqmfJe0Ywz
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) 27 February 2018
How the Board will differentiate the games that offer a multitude of in-game purchases via loot boxes against titles that offer additional downloadable content (DLCs) remains to be seen. Currently, the plan is to assign the label for any sort of in-game purchase, including the season pass, DLCs, character skins, loot boxes and so forth.
In-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real-world currency, including but not limited to bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads).