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Australian government seeks to classify all games with loot boxes as Mature

"That is the clearest indication that we can give not only to consumers, but also to industry."

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team microtransactions
Image credit: FIFA 22 / Eurogamer

The Australian government is looking to make improvements on its classification ratings for video games.

Australian MP Andrew Wilkie proposed a bill to the government in November last year which would enforce a R18+ or RC (refused classification) rating on all games which include sales of loot boxes. The new motion, announced earlier this week, seeks to add a "mandatory minimum" classification of Mature (not recommended for under 15s) to these games instead.

Games with simulated gambling, such as in-game casinos, would be required a R18+ rating under the proposed changes.

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Several games would be affected by the proposed changes, such as FIFA 23, which would see their classification level rise from General to Mature.

In a press release, the government stated it also wants to "expand options for industry to self-classify content".

"[The government] want to be very clear and very binary in this regard, and the certainty that is provided by a proposal that says if there is simulated gambling in a game, then it is subject to a particular rating," Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said to ABC News."That is the clearest indication that we can give not only to consumers, but also to industry."

"There is growing community concern around the harms of simulated gambling," Rowland continued. The Australian government has been undertaking research which found links between loot boxes and simulated gambling and problem gambling.

In order for the proposal to be passed, the attorney generals for all Australian states and territories will need to agree.

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