VSC given tough powers for non-compliance of PEGI system
Video Standards Council can fine and exclude publishers that do not comply with new UK ratings system
The Video Standards Council – the new body managing game ratings in the UK – has been given tough powers to enforce legislation of the new PEGI system.
Company's that do not adopt the PEGI system will face fines and the possibility of titles not being granted a license to be released in the UK. The VSC also has the option to ban games from release.
"The VSC will be an independent body, as is the PEGI system, and while I'm sure there's some joining up to do, it's a tough system," detailed Electronic Arts' UK MD Keith Ramsdale, who has been consulting with the Digital Britain report as part of his role on the ELSPA board.
"We've gone further than the recommendations and PEGI will impose fines for non-compliance and possible exclusion from the PEGI system for non compliance.
"This isn't something ELSPA can affect, this will become a legislative statutory system and ELSPA doesn't get an influence, it's being handled independently," he added.
While the PEGI system has always raised concerns that it was a self-regulatory system, the Video Standards Council will oversee ratings and crack down on any companies trying to exploit the system as it puts into place a self-declaration process.
"To be honest so much content now goes online it's not realistic to expect a classification body to classify a product. It's got to be a self-declared process," said Ramsdale.
"But there's a big difference between self-regulation and self-declaration. So what a publisher will do is complete a self-declaration and of course there will be checks on what content people put in, and there will be highly punitive measures should publishers not comply."