Under a new Australian regulation effective now, all newly classified games must disclose in-game purchases on their physical covers.
Australia has mandated that all physical copies of games will include in-game purchases as part of their front cover disclosure. The regulation was brought in back in May, but as games are rated months before release, we will start to see this rolled out with September releases.
This declaration will come in the form of a few extra words on that little box you see on every video game’s cover art. Many games nowadays do come with in-game purchases, so this is perhaps a gentle way for parents to make more informed decisions when buying games for their child.
In-game purchases have become almost synonymous with gambling, especially in the case of loot boxes. There’s an argument that these gaming mechanisms are almost too similar to gambling ones, which is why the Australian government may be using this as a first step towards a stricter crack-down on in-game purchases.
Games set for release in Australia with this new gaming regulation will include, Marvels’ Avengers, FIFA 21, PGA Tour 2K21, and Madden NFL 21.
From online-activity to VR features, the Board of Classification has made decisions to fit the contemporary landscape of gaming. These disclosure statements are an unintrusive way to keep the buyer informed without hindering the cover art too much.
And hey, if it stops your child from spending four grand on loot boxes, we’re all for it.