Nintendo, SEGA, Ubisoft, EA All Back PEGI Over BBFC

Illustration for article titled Nintendo, SEGA, Ubisoft, EA All Back PEGI Over BBFC

After the Bryon Review suggested a new system requiring games that would normally receive a 12+ Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating be subjected to review by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), publishers like EA started to worry about even longer UK game release delays. Both the BBFC and PEGI are trying to carve out control in a UK game ratings power scramble. Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association head Paul Jackson explains why PEGI is superior to the BBFC:

PEGI represents the "gold standard" today, and will undoubtedly be the best system for tomorrow. PEGI is clearly the only ratings system which has the power to prevent game publishers distributing unsuitable content to children, online and offline. Only PEGI fully assesses all games content. It is designed specifically for interactive software. It understands games and their potential for infinite variations. That's why it is backed by the vast majority of the computer games industry.

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And it's not only the ELSP that supports PEGI, but also Nintendo UK, Ubisoft UK, SEGA of Europe and EA UK, Ireland and Nordics. Hit the jump for comments from each of those companies:

David Yarnton, UK General Manager of Nintendo, said: "The PEGI age ratings system is favoured by Nintendo. It has the ability to assess and rate all game content and does not rely on a sample of game play to form its decisions. The fact that there is also an EC proposal for member states to adopt PEGI only adds further weight to the solid arguments and facts for its UK adoption as the sole system of choice for games ratings."

Rob Cooper, Managing Director of Ubisoft UK, said:"The PEGI system is future proof. It's as simple as that. It is a self-regulation system that is operated by experts that are best qualified and experienced to do the job. As an international business selling games across the World, we urge Government to understand the depth of importance of this decision as we enter a period in which games will grow exponentially."

Mike Hayes, President and CEO of Sega Europe, said:"If you look at the PEGI system against the film ratings board in the UK, you will see that PEGI is the only system that has the power to prevent games publishers distributing unsuitable content to children. It can ban a publisher's entire output, rather than just a single title. This power is backed by the entire industry."

Keith Ramsdale, Vice President and General Manager of EA UK, Ireland and Nordics, said:"The Government's proposed changes will create extra administration and cause delays in getting hit games into the hands of British consumers. Only PEGI is built to address the fast changing nature of the games industry and is best placed to deliver the needed protection for minors."

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Those are some big companies in PEGI's corner.

GAMES INDUSTRY CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO EMBRACE PEGI AS SINGLE GAMES AGE RATINGS SYSTEM [MCVUK]

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DISCUSSION

These people have no say in the matter anyway. Their opinions are not going to influence the UK government any more than those posted in this thread. Personally, I think the BBFC ratings are far more informative.

For example, the aforementioned Mass Effect got a PEGI rating of 18+ and apparently contains a fist holding barbed wire, which may refer to violence but this is not specified on packaging. The BBFC gave it a rating of 12, and states 'Contains moderate violence and one moderate sex scene.' on the box.

Gears of War. PEGI: 18+ rating, and like Mass Effect contains the fist (violence). The BBFC on the other hand, gave it an 18 rating and states 'Contains strong bloody violence'. Not so dissimilar?

Here's another one: Bully Scholarship edition. According to PEGI, it contains the fist (violence, same logo as Gears of War's), and foreign languages (swearing). It gets a 16+ rating. The BBFC gave it a 15 rating and states on the box: 'Contains strong violence and imitable behaviour'.

Imitable behaviour is quite an important one really, and is what causes the difference in rating between Bully and Mass Effect, because you can't actually shoot aliens with laser guns or kill people with bionic powers, but you can shove nerds in lockers and hit jocks with bin lids. PEGI does not distinguish between the violence in Bully, Mass Effect or Gears of War, whereas the differences are clearly visible.

Also, there is little or no swearing in Bully, which PEGI have stated, whilst there is in Mass Effect and it isn't mentioned. Maybe that's because Bully has a lower rating, but content descriptors are content descriptors. And they don't even play the games? Incompetent. The BBFC is clearly the better system.