PEGI’s Enforcement Committee has fined Activision Blizzard the rather paltry sum of €5000, for failing to disclose the presence of loot boxes in Diablo Immortal.
It has additionally fined Plaion the same sum for omitting to tell the ratings board its Limited Bounty Hunter Edition of Hunt: Showdown also contained paid random items.
“Since this amounts to a violation of the rules described in the PEGI Code of Conduct, the PEGI Enforcement Committee sanctioned both companies with a fine of 5000€,” PEGI has stated.
As well as this fine, which honestly seems like pocket change for both companies, and hardly much of a deterrent, both Activision Blizzard and Plaion have been made to take ” immediate action to update relevant store listings and marketing materials” for their games.
Eurogamer has contacted Activision and Plaion for further comment on this fine.
These companies are not the only ones to see some form of reprimand for their in-game loot boxes. Earlier this month, it came to light that Sony had not appealed the Austrian loot box verdict which ordered it to refund a number of Austrian FIFA players, after a court ruled that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs constituted a form of gambling.
Meanwhile, research conducted in January suggested warnings for games with loot box-style mechanics are inconsistent and unreliable.
Conducted by Leon Y Xiao in cooperation with universities in Denmark, London and the US, the study examined a randomised selection of smartphone games which have loot boxes and are available to download from the Google Play Store. The study aimed to find out how consistent loot box presence warnings are across PEGI and the ERSB, as well as the consistency of age ratings on the Google Play Store as overseen by the IARC.