The body that looks after PEGI says it was right to stop the dual-rating of products.
Publishers were recently aggrieved to discover they could no longer brand games with both PEGI and German USK ratings.
Instead, they must now incur extra costs making packaging for just Germany, which can only carry USK ratings, and PEGI-branded packs for the rest of the continent.
Previously dual-branding was a cost effective move for publishers that may have to move stock between countries.
In these austere times, why are PEGI making hard pushed publishers cost out a separate SKU?” asked Funbox Media boss Barry Hatch in a letter we published last week.
But the Interactive Software Federation of Europe says the reason is to support the wider use of PEGI in Switzerland and Austria.
A spokesperson told MCV: The reason for no longer allowing hybrid labelling is to support the efforts of PEGI in Switzerland and Austria, where we are working with authorities on improved implementation of the system. These markets currently see a lot of titles with two ratings on the package.
Since these ratings are delivered by separate organisations, they can be different, which is a confusing message to a consumer.
PEGI S.A. is well aware of the cost and the effort that is involved in the creation of a separate SKU, but on the whole PEGI has proven to be a very cost-effective solution, given that the PEGI rating system is used in all European countries except Germany.
The decision was not taken lightly as we fully realise that this guideline has an impact on local product publishing in the German language area. For that reason, we have proposed solutions with the local publishers that have contacted us.
In the long term, this decision is meant to help to reinforce the PEGI system in these countries.”