A total of fifteen publishers have signed up to the PEGI (Pan European Game Information) Online system of guidelines. The initiative was launched three months ago as a European industry backed standard
for promoting online gaming security for minors.
The 15 companies which have already signed up for PEGI Online include Burda:ic, CCP, City Interactive, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Funcom, Koch Media, Microsoft, NCsoft Europe, Nintendo of Europe, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Disney, THQ, Ubisoft and Vivendi Games Europe.
The PEGI Online scheme is backed by the European Commission, which provides a financial contribution drawn from the Safer Internet Action Plan budget line. It was created as an offshoot of the existing PEGI system used across Europe for retail box products – often in addition to existing country specific ratings systems.
Patrice Chazerand, secretary general of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), said, “All ISFE members involved in online gaming are now holding a PEGI Online license. The ISFE membership has again taken the lead in addressing an area of concern for European consumers. Prospects for establishing a harmonized safety standard throughout Europe for online video games look very promising.”
“First and foremost this is about the industry exercising a sense of responsibility. Whereas PEGI helps parents make sure that their children are exposed only to material appropriate to their age and their stage of development, PEGI Online secures the best effort of signatories to guarantee that children playing online are not exposed to adult material or inappropriate behaviour,” added Chazerand. “The Europe-wide scheme shows an industry attuned to consumer needs and adept at anticipating them.”