PEGI to become the UK’s sole game rating system

The PEGI vs. BBFC clash has finally come to an end, with the European videogame rating board beating out the British Board of Film Classification to become the UK’s sole game classifier. The BBFC was originally favored by the government, but PEGI was prefered by the games industry. Despite the bravado on both sides, it was looking like the BBFC would be the hot favorite, so this news is actually quite a shocker.

ELSPA chief Mike Rawlinson has praised the government’s surprising decision, saying it was “absolutely right” and that “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,” he adds. “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.”

The responsibility for deciding what games we can play was split between the BBFC and PEGI, until it was decided we only needed one rating system. The BBFC and PEGI battled bitterly over who should win, with each side declaring only they were up to the task of controlling who gets to play what. The BBFC won no fans among gamers when it attempted to ban Manhunt 2. With PEGI now in control, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to videogame ratings in the future.

Jim Sterling