• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

New PEGI gambling criteria means old Pokémon games would now be rated 18+, all future releases will be impacted

May 9, 2019
4,582
10,348
1,070


PEGI, which serves as the video game content rating system across Europe, has updated its criteria regarding gambling in games. The change means that any games which "encourage or teach gambling" will now be instantly classified as PEGI 18.

You'll no doubt have spotted PEGI content descriptors on your favourite games – Bad Language, Discrimination, Drugs, Fear, Gambling, Sex, Violence, and more recently, In-Game Purchases can all be noted on a game's box or store page, along with an age rating between 3 and 18 to match the content included.

Over time, these descriptors are reviewed, and while a game containing gambling could previously get away with being a PEGI 12 or PEGI 16, it will now always automatically be a PEGI 18. The VSC Game Rating Board explains the change:

"In 2020, the PEGI criteria were changed so that, in future, any games featuring moving images that “teach and/or glamorise the use of games of chance that are played/carried out as a traditional means of gambling” will be rated PEGI 18.

This refers to types of betting or gambling for money that is normally played or carried out in casinos, gambling halls, or racetracks. It does not cover games where betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline. The game must actually teach the player how to gamble or bet and/or glamorise gambling. For example, this will include games that teach the player how to play card games that are usually played for money or how to play the odds in horse racing."


As noted by AskAboutGames, one Switch title affected by the rule change is Overboard!, a murder mystery text adventure that includes 'Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes and Use of Alcohol' – content that would usually give the game a PEGI 12 rating. However, thanks to a scene where the player can enjoy a game of blackjack, the rating is upped to PEGI 18, with the lower-age indicators being removed in favour of the higher-level 'Simulated Gambling' warning.



Interestingly, the rule change means that were Nintendo – or any publisher, for that matter – to release some of its older titles again in today's climate, they'd almost certainly see a significant age rating bump.

Take Pokémon Red and Blue, as an example, which feature the Game Corner – a building packed with slot machines that allow the player to bet their in-game cash to earn more money and claim prizes. These were originally released as being suitable for everyone, but were updated to a PEGI 12 rating when they were re-released on the 3DS eShop in 2016 thanks to their gambling content. If Nintendo were to release the games again on Switch, they'd be classed as PEGI 18.

Countless other games would also be impacted in a similar way, such as Super Mario 64 DS. Thanks to a gambling minigame, its original PEGI 3 rating rose to PEGI 12 when it was re-released on Wii U, and would now be PEGI 18.

If Game Boy and Game Boy Color games really do come to Nintendo Switch soon, expect one or two age rating surprises.

 
Last edited:

MudoSkills

Member
Mar 2, 2014
2,471
1,835
675
All the ridiculous games that would get caught up in this. How many RPGs have a casino minigame? Ni No Kuni - 18+
 
  • Like
Reactions: NeoIkaruGAF

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Jun 29, 2020
3,453
9,283
680
Huh, so Stardew Valley's rating would also need to change?

2020:
  • Stardew Valley (Chucklefish / 505 Games) : changed from PEGI 7 to PEGI 12
When the game was originally submitted, a particular portion of the game displaying casino games (blackjack and slot machines), was not disclosed and therefore not included in the original content assessment. A more recent review revealed that this content was present in the game, resulting in an override of the original rating.

 
Last edited:
  • LOL
Reactions: Hendrick's

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Jun 29, 2020
3,453
9,283
680
I've seen parents buying GTA and Mortal Kombat for their 8 year old kids. I doubt if it makes a difference.
Well it does for developers and publishers, though.

Some companies might feel forced to remove elements from their games just to comply.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dotnotbot

Three

Member
Oct 26, 2014
6,694
4,505
690
I don't understand this. If a game monitises games of chance I get that that is considered gambling. I've alway said that games selling loot boxes should be considered gambling but I don't get that with the old pokemon games. Were they monetised? Is any game of chance considered gambling? Does this mean games like monopoly are considered gambling?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SlimeGooGoo

MrFunSocks

Member
Jul 9, 2020
4,524
8,180
665
Ridiculous. It's a good thing that ratings mean nothing and are never actually enforced.
 
Last edited:

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Jun 29, 2020
3,453
9,283
680
Is any game of chance considered gambling? Does this mean games like monopoly are considered gambling?
Yeah, their logic is dumb.

Gacha and other crap that have REAL LIFE consequences are allowed, but having a virtual casino in-game that doesn't require real life money in any way (e.g. Dragon Quest) is somehow more dangerous.

They love corporate money alright.
 

Portugeezer

Member
Dec 11, 2008
21,205
5,494
1,455
London
abload.de
I don't understand this. If a game monitises games of chance I get that that is considered gambling. I've alway said that games selling loot boxes should be considered gambling but I don't get that with the old pokemon games. Were they monetised? Is any game of chance considered gambling? Does this mean games like monopoly are considered gambling?
They're not saying Pokemon is real gambling.

With loot boxes you always get something (yes even crap items are still something), with gambling you can just lose and get nothing.

PEGI could broaden the definition for loot boxes to count... but that would be a conflict of interest for them.
 

Three

Member
Oct 26, 2014
6,694
4,505
690
They're not saying Pokemon is real gambling.

With loot boxes you always get something (yes even crap items are still something), with gambling you can just lose and get nothing.

PEGI could broaden the definition for loot boxes to count... but that would be a conflict of interest for them.
I know they're not saying it's real gambling but has elements that teach or encourage virtual gambling. In that sense so does Monopoly.

The definition where you get something just isn't something I consider a deterrence for gambling otherwise they can give the same low worth item in any actual gambling game. You go to a high stakes table get a bubblegum with every bet and it's not gambling. There was a thread I was arguing this case on a long time ago (years ago) just before some EU countries deemed it as gambling.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: kuncol02
Mar 28, 2021
2,284
3,966
490
how the fuck is pokemon red/blue being rated 18+?

is it cause there's those little slot machines in one of the towns? if i remember right it was celadon where the hidden team rocket base is?

edit: holy shit it is hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
 
  • Like
Reactions: NeoIkaruGAF

Porcile

Member
Oct 23, 2012
5,653
2,063
860
In the future kids will be finding Pokemon carts in the woods near their house instead of the classic porn bag.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: NeoIkaruGAF

justiceiro

Member
Feb 27, 2015
334
297
460
Yeah, playing card is the problem, not spending real money. Gotta love when a board full of people that never played a game make decisions about what is appropriate and what is not.
 
Last edited:

JimboJones

Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,326
2,910
1,320
N.Ireland
They did remove the gambling aspect from Pokémon Let's go Pikachu/Eevee probably to avoid the gambling icon on the back cover.
Getting an 18 rating seems a little extreme, should be only be for when real money is involved.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
18,388
21,060
1,455
Oregon
That Dragon Quest III HD remake is gonna have to cut out it's monster fighting arenas, or get faced with having a 18+ rating in Europe then
 
  • Like
Reactions: NeoIkaruGAF