CONFIRMED: PEGI to Solely Regulate Videogame Ratings in UK

PEGIIt’s been confirmed by the British Government that the PEGI ratings system, which has been in place in Europe for nearly 5 years, will regulate and rate every game that will be released in the UK which now means the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will no longer rate videogames in the UK.

It now means games like Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid would be rated through PEGI and not the BBFC as beforehand. Had the move come in before today, Prototype would have been rated as a PEGI 18 in the UK, not the BBFC’s 18.

ELSPA have welcomed the move with welcome arms with it’s director general Mike Rawlinson saying that the government has made the “right choice”.

By choosing PEGI as the single classification system in the UK, British children will now get the best possible protection when playing videogames either on a console or on the internet. Parents can be assured that they will have access to clear, uniform ratings on games and an accurate understanding of game content.

However, the BBFC has already come out and said it can do better at ratings then PEGI, according to the head of the BBFC, David Cooke (from MCV, via VG247).

The BBFC has always supported PEGI and wished it well, but it continues to believe that it satisfies these requirements better than PEGI. However, it will cooperate fully in the detailed work needed to give effect to the government’s decision. And it must be independent in substance as well as appearance, reaching its decisions and providing information on the basis of its own detailed assessments.

Partners of ELSPA have come out and welcomed the move, partners such as Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft and SEGA.

It comes in the form of a brand new report from the government called “Digital Britian”, outlined by the Culture Secratary Ben Bradshaw, a suggestion made by the Byron report which was published back in June last year. The full press release from ELSPA is after the jump.

ELSPA AND GAMING INDUSTRY WELCOMES DCMS DECISION OVER BYRON REVIEW TO ENDORSE PEGI AS SOLE AGE RATINGS SYSTEM FOR VIDEOGAMES

Tuesday 16th June/…ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, has today welcomed the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s decision to adopt PEGI as the sole age ratings system for videogames in the U.K.

Mike Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, the trade body which represents games publishers, said:

“The Government has made absolutely the right decision for child safety. By choosing PEGI as the single classification system in the UK, British children will now get the best possible protection when playing videogames either on a console or on the internet. Parents can be assured that they will have access to clear, uniform ratings on games and an accurate understanding of game content.

Today’s decision will ensure that games ratings stay relevant and adapt to the changing nature of videogames for many years to come. Retailers will now have clear, legal backing to help them prevent access to unsuitable content by children.

We will work closely with the Government, the Video Standards Council and the BBFC to ensure a smooth and rapid transition to this new ratings system.”

Simon Little, MD, ISFE said:

“This decision by the British government to adopt PEGI as the single ratings system for videogames in the UK will give British children the same protection whether they are playing at home or online, as children in 28 countries across Europe.

PEGI meets the criteria set out by Professor Byron in her review and has also been further updated to take into account developments in new technology as game playing moves increasingly online and becomes increasingly interactive. It is a robust system which protects children online and offline. We will continue to ensure that PEGI remains the most relevant and effective system for helping parents, guardians, teachers and retailers to protect children both now and in the future.”

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