According to a new policy that has been implemented in Australia, the video games sold in the country must receive a rating from the Classification Board of the Department of Communications and display it prominently on all physical content and advertisements.
Since 1 May 2020, all video games sold in Australia have included a rating for in-game purchases (microtransactions and loot boxes).
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) decided to draw attention to in-game purchases back in April, and Australia’s decision to follow suit should come as no surprise. After all, the stated purpose of the rating is to “strike a balance between matters,” including alerting consumers (particularly families) to objectionable media and shielding children from inappropriate content. Though added quietly with no press release to speak of, the metric is further evidence that public opinion of the practice of in-game purchases has fallen in 2020.