If you own any video game, you’ve certainly noticed the PEGI sign on the box. PEGI or Pan European Game Information is a rating system helping European customers make informed decisions when purchasing games. It includes a content description and age recommendation. This means that besides information on the appropriate age, it contains a warning of content unsuitable for younger age groups. For example, Sex, Violence, Gambling, Bad Language, Discrimination, or Drugs.
PEGI Updates Rating Policy Regarding Gambling Content
However, the criteria upon which Pokemon Go recommendations are made are not final. They’re constantly subject to reevaluation and the recommendation of what’s appropriate for a certain age may change over time. In one such case, PEGI has recently updated its criteria concerning gambling content in games. The new guideline is that any game that “encourages or teaches” gambling will be momentarily rated as PEGI 18. This means that any such game is unsuitable for persons under the age of 18.
Before the latest policy update, games with gambling contact could have gotten away with being read PEGI 12 or PEGI 16. Now, all games in this group will automatically receive a PEGI 18 rating. The change was explained in more detail by the VSC Game Rating Board. In their statement, they noted that, in the future, every game teaching or glamorizing games of chance will be marked with PEGI 18 sign. This rating policy change affects games with types of gambling normally seen at casinos, sportsbooks, or racetracks. If a game involves gambling just as a part of a storyline it will not be affected by the latest rating update. To be marked with PEGI 18, the game must involve actual teaching or glamourizing of gambling or betting.
Which Games will be Affected?
For example, Overboard! would previously be rated PEGI 12. This is due to “Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes and Use of Alcohol”. But, as it involves a scene where players play blackjack, it now has a PEGI 18 rating and “Simulated Gambling” content descriptor. The new rules mean that if Nintendo, or any other publisher, releases a remake of the older title, it will likely receive an updated rating.
One of the games that may be affected is Pokemon Red and Blue. It features the Game Corner, a place where players can play slots staking their in-game currency to earn more money or various rewards. The game has already seen his rating change once. Originally suitable for everyone, in 2016 its re-release earned PEGI 12 rating due to the gambling content. If the game were released again in this climate, it would likely be rated PEGI 18. A similar thing would happen to many other titles, including Super Mario 64 DS. Check out the Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl – Official Trailer Youtube video.
Still, as PEGI clarified, the new rating would be applied only to the updated version of the games. If a publisher re-releases an unchanged game, it would keep the original rating. The new policy will only affect upgraded or modernized editions of older games. This would technically make them new games and thus subjects to the new rating rules.