ISFE Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Ann Becker, said: “The industry takes its responsibility to consumers, especially minors, extremely seriously and is committed to ensuring a responsible, fair and transparent gameplay experience, including when in-game purchases and loot boxes are present in games.”
In 2020, in response to concerns raised on loot boxes, PEGI, the Pan-European Game Information System, developed a notice that informs consumers and players prior to purchase or play of the existence of paid random items (such as loot boxes or card packs) in games. In addition, to provide further transparency, the industry also committed to informing players about the relative rarity or probability of obtaining a paid random virtual item in an easily understandable way, implemented by all major platforms and devices on which players can access video games.
EGDF Managing Director Jari-Pekka Kaleva said: “As a forerunner of the digital economy, for more than a decade now, the video games industry has been engaged in a constant dialogue with the European Commission and European consumer protection authorities on the implementation of the European consumer protection framework on novel business models, innovative technological solutions and ground-breaking artistic content. Loot boxes and other free-to-download game mechanics have been at the core of those discussions, and we are more than happy to continue improving industry practices and self-regulatory actions in cooperation with the consumer law enforcement authorities.”
The video games industry is known for its best-in-class minor protection and has spent decades developing parental control tools allowing parents to disable or limit any in-game spending, among other things, and implementing PEGI, the pan-European age rating system, used in 38 countries across Europe.
Parental control tools and information campaigns
All the major video game platforms have parental control tools that allow parents and guardians to manage their children’s game play, as well as giving them the option to limit or disable spending, manage online interaction and set age restrictions. Together with our members, we run educational awareness campaigns across Europe that help inform parents about video games, and the tools that they can access to support them.
ISFE’s most recent GameTrackreport on in-game spending revealed that 75% of parents have an agreement with their children on their in-game spending and there is a good awareness of parental control tools that enable parents to set limits or disable any in-game spending (including on loot boxes).
Since 1998, ISFE has ensured that the voice of a responsible games ecosystem is heard and understood, that its creative and economic potential is supported and celebrated, and that players around the world continue to enjoy great video game playing experiences. ISFE represents the video games industry in Europe and is based in Brussels, Belgium. Our membership comprises national trade associations in 18 countries across Europe which represent in turn thousands of developers and publishers at national level. ISFE also has as direct members the leading European and international video game companies.
Uniting the industry
The European Games Developer Federation e.f. (EGDF) unites national trade associations representing game developer studios from Austria (PGDA), Belgium (FLEGA), Czechia (GDACZ), Denmark (Producentforeningen), Finland (Suomen pelinkehittäjät), France (SNJV), Germany (GAME), Italy (IIDEA), Malta (MVGSA), Netherlands (DGA), Norway (VIRKE Produsentforeningen), Poland (PGA), Romania (RGDA), Spain (DEV), Sweden (Spelplan-ASGD), Slovakia (SGDA), Turkey (TOGED) and the United Kingdom (TIGA). Altogether, through its members, EGDF represents more than 2,000 game developer studios, most of them SMEs, employing more than 25,000 people.