Atari Announcement Strengthens Case For PEGI Age Ratings System

Monday 22nd September/... The case for the video games industry embracing PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) as the only effective age rating system gathered further momentum today following Atari’s announcement that 90 per cent of its output will be released online in a few years’ time. Atari CEO David Gardiner and President Phil Harrison stated in an interview with MCV, the trade newspaper, that the company increasingly favours online titles over the traditional retail model lending further weight to PEGI’s cause.

Following Atari’s recent deal with Namco Bandai and speaking in MCV, Gardner said:“We’re taking the first steps here. In five years, Namco Bandai will probably own the majority of it, it will no longer be our responsibility and Atari will be just an online company– within five years we’ll have 90 per cent online products.”

ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) is actively lobbying Government to embrace PEGI as the single games ratings system and believes that the implementation of a single games age ratings system in the UK is the only system with the power to protect children online and offline.

Paul Jackson, Director General at ELSPA, said:“Atari’s decision to shift retail emphasis to online further emphasises why the British video game industry specifically favours the PEGI age ratings system. Only PEGI fully assesses all games content. It is designed specifically for interactive software. It understands games and their potential for infinite variations. That’s why it is backed by the British games industry.”


For interviews with Paul Jackson or for more information about ELSPA, please contact Will Brown (020 3003 6471) or Cathy Dunkley (020 3003 6355) at Freud Communications. Email:

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About ELSPA:

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association Ltd was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the interactive leisure software industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK. As a gateway to Europe, ELSPA works to protect, promote and provide for the interests of all its members, as well as addressing issues that affect the industry as a whole.

About PEGI:

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system was established in 2003 to help European parents make informed decisions on buying interactive games. Designed to ensure that minors are not exposed to games that are unsuitable for their particular age group, the system is supported by the major console manufacturers, including PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, as well as by publishers and developers of interactive games throughout Europe. The age rating system has been developed by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and has the enthusiastic support of the European Commission, who considers the new system to be a model of European harmonisation in the field of protection of children.

PEGI applies to products distributed in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom


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