Director-General of the VSC, Laurie Hall, said:
“Although we had hoped that it would be implemented sooner, we are very pleased that the Government has now given us a definite date for implementation of the PEGI ratings system.
Over the past year or so the VSC has been entirely restructured in terms of staff and other resources. There are some matters outstanding, but we will be fully up to speed and able to take on all our new responsibilities by the turn of the year.
We have consulted with retailers and acknowledge that January is probably not a good month for the new PEGI launch as they will be dealing with the Christmas break, and the January sales, not to mention the repercussions of the VAT change. It is important that all sectors of the industry are fully aware of the changes and ready to take on the legal and other implications. Subject to that we shall be ready in the event the start date is by any chance brought forward”
The Digital Economy Act has been passed in the UK but the sections of it dealing with video games have not yet been made effective. This means there is no change in the existing procedure for releasing games in the UK. If a game is rated PEGI 18 it must be submitted to the BBFC for a legal classification. Games must also be submitted to the BBFC if they contain any extraneous video which is not an integral part of the game such as trailers and adverts.
The Government has said the legislative change will be implemented on April 1st 2011. The VSC is involved in the discussions regarding the implementation of the new legislation and will ensure that everyone is properly informed in good time as to what the changes will mean in practice. In the meantime, there is no change to existing practices and procedures.
It is important to stress that no games must appear for sale in UK shops with a PEGI 18 logo prior to April 1st 2011.
For further information contact:
Video Standards Council
Telephone: 0208387 4020
Mobile: 07902 407 720
Notes for Editors:
The Video Standards Council (VSC) was established in 1989 as a non-profit making body to develop and maintain a Code of Practice for high standards within the video industry. It was subsequently expanded to include the video games industry. VSC is fully independent of the video games industry. It administers PEGI ratings at ages 12, 16 and 18 for all 30 PEGI countries and independently assesses every game released in these markets. For more information on VSC, see www.videostandards.org.uk
Parliamentary approval is required to“designate” VSC as the statutory authority for games rating, including the power to ban games in the UK.
PEGI is the Pan-European Games Information system. Established in 2003, it operates in 30 countries. The system is independent of the video games industry, but is supported by all major console manufacturers, publishers and developers of interactive games throughout Europe and beyond. For more information on PEGI, see www.pegi.info