Balatro Rating Board

Poker deckbuilder Balatro is dealing with ratings board frustrations and delistings

Cards + currency does not equal gambling.

Playstack, the publisher of popular roguelike deckbuilder Balatro confirmed on Twitter that the game has been temporarily removed from some digital storefronts due to a sudden rating change. Apparently, the UK rating board PEGI changed the rating from 3+ to 18+ overnight due to “prominent gambling imagery” which prompted the sudden delistings. The problem here is that there is literally no gambling in Balatro.

Recommended Videos

According to Playstack, they specifically addressed this topic with PEGI back in October after it was originally rated 18+. And, after some communication, PEGI changed the rating to 3+. PEGI even went as far as to assure Playstack that “we have reviewed your product and determined that the disclosure of gambling themes was unwarranted.” Playstack says that the content in Balatro has not changed since that discourse took place, so it doesn’t make much sense.

The solo developer of Balatro, LocalThunk, also responded to the rating board issue.

“I do not condone gambling (staking something personally valuable on an uncertain event) nor do I believe that Balatro contains gambling. I did add risk/reward mechanics and RNG to Balatro, but these are core mechanics to the genre at large.”

– LocalThunk, Solo Developer of Balatro

One platform not affected by this travesty is Steam, which does not carry any sort of age rating based on rating boards.

I haven’t had a chance to play just yet simply due to lack of free time at the moment, but our own Eric “The Cardmaster” Van Allen can attest that even a cursory five minutes in the world of Balatro makes it clear: this is not a game about gambling, whatsoever. This seems like a classic case of someone just glancing at a screenshot from Balatro and seeing that standard card decks are used, and there is a currency, and automatically associating it with gambling. Not a good look, PEGI.

Balatro, which has no gambling mechanics whatsoever, is currently available on PC via Steam, as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch depending on your region.


Destructoid is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Deep Rock Galactic defeats FOMO by letting you play old seasons whenever, wherever
Read Article Behaviour Interactive teases Dead by Daylight’s next Modifer, Chaos Shuffle, just as Tome 19 opens
the doctor ultra rate skin dead by daylight tome 19 splendor
Read Article Atari continues to unimplode, revives Infogrames label
Infogrames logo evolution
Related Content
Read Article Deep Rock Galactic defeats FOMO by letting you play old seasons whenever, wherever
Read Article Behaviour Interactive teases Dead by Daylight’s next Modifer, Chaos Shuffle, just as Tome 19 opens
the doctor ultra rate skin dead by daylight tome 19 splendor
Read Article Atari continues to unimplode, revives Infogrames label
Infogrames logo evolution
Author
Steven Mills
Staff Writer - Steven has been writing in some capacity for over a decade now. He has a passion for story focused RPG's like the Final Fantasy franchise and ARPG's like Diablo and Path of Exile. But really, he's willing to try anything.