Sponsored By

Talk about a bad hand.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 1, 2024

1 Min Read
Screenshot from LocalThunk's Balatro.
Image via LocalThunk/Playstack.

At a Glance

  • Balatro may look like a gambling game, but it very much isn't, which Playstack says it had to fight for to clear its release.

UK ratings board PEGI accidently delisted Balatro on the PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Stores after a recent categorization error.

Publisher Playstack revealed the deckbuilder was "temporarily removed" from console stores in various countries. While vague on specifics, it hoped to get the game back on sale ASAP.

As noted by GamesIndustry, PEGI's PlayStation and Xbox Store pages list Balatro with an 18 rating for "prominent gambling imagery." Its Nintendo eShop page is gone entirely.

PEGI's delisting reportedly stemmed from Balatro's rating going from 3+ to 18+ overnight. It changed due to "prominent gambling imagery" and instructive material on gambling.

Balatro is not an actual gambling game

But as Playstack noted, Balatro itself has nothing to do with gambling, and the ratings change is "unfounded." LocalThunk, its creator, is also said to be "staunchly anti-gambling."

Playstack said this exact discussion happened with PEGI in October. Back then, the game was originally 18+ before being shifted to 3+, and nothing in it has changed between then and now.

As it works to get Balatro back on sale, the game may still have an 18+ rating, but Playstack said it'll be "temporary."

"We thank you for your patience and support," it concluded.

It also assured that anyone who previously bought the console version of the very popular game can still download and play it.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like