PEGI counters fresh ratings row

PEGI says it must go ahead with controversial plans to end dual classifications on European game boxes.

But the body has issued a string of solutions to angry publishers who have seen their costs spiral as a result of the new rule.

PEGI insists it is thinking of the ‘bigger picture’ as it tries to establish itself in Austria and Switzerland. The governments of these countries will not support a ratings system that has both a PEGI and a German USK rating on the box.

Small publishers hit out at the plans to end dual-ratings as it means they cannot freely move stock between European countries and will incur additional costs of producing extra packaging.

To help these publishers, PEGI has suggested firms might consider reversible inlays (with PEGI on one side and USK on the other) or over-stickering the rating labels. But these suggestions were dismissed as ‘impractical’ by Reef Entertainment CEO Peter Rezon, as first parties that manufacture boxes don’t produce reversible sleeves.

As a result, PEGI has produced a more detailed document with support from these first parties.

A PEGI spokesperson said: We clarified both options in a more detailed document, since it became apparent that there were scenarios in which not every option is viable. That document was shared with platform holders to ensure that we knew whether they allowed all options.

PEGI needs to keep the bigger picture in mind, so cancelling the guideline was never an option. But based on the feedback from publishers, we should have created the necessary flexibility to allow everyone to comply with the guideline.

The decision about this guideline was not taken lightly. We are aware that the creation and implementation of a new SKU brings along extra efforts and costs.

But the position of PEGI in Austria and Switzerland requires attention and the effect will be beneficial in the long term.”

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