ESRB President Patricia Vance has announced a new label. Physical copies of games will now have an additional label noting if they have in-game purchases. This is a measure to address issues people may be having with titles that include loot boxes. (Thanks, GamesIndustry.biz!)
The ESRB’s in-game purchases label will be like the “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB” note on boxes with online multiplayer. If a game has any sort of add-on or subscription, it will carry this in-game purchases label. This means a title like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would get the label because of its season pass and DLC, even though it does not have microtransactions. It also means a game like Overwatch would have the label, due to its loot boxes.
Vance noted that the ESRB will not take action regarding whether or not companies should report loot box drop rates at this time. In China, a law was passed in 2017 that required games like Dota, League of Legends and Overwatch to reveal their loot box odds.
Vance did not say when the ESRB in-game purchases label will begin appearing on physical game boxes.