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Nintendo, Sega, Ubisoft back PEGI in ratings conflict

More publishers add weight to campaign for PEGI to rate all games and push out BBFC influence in the UK

Nintendo, Ubisoft and Sega have all backed PEGI as the ratings body of choice for the UK games industry, following recommendations by the Byron Review that the BBFC should classify games.

ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, has pulled out publishing partners to support its view that PEGI is better equipped to act as a single ratings board for the UK.

"The PEGI age ratings system is favoured by Nintendo. It has the ability to assess and rate all game content and does not rely on a sample of gameplay to form its decisions," commented David Yarnton, general manager of Nintendo UK.

"The fact that there is also an EC proposal for member states to adopt PEGI only adds further weight to the solid arguments and facts for its UK adoption as the sole system of choice for games ratings."

Rob Cooper, Ubisoft's managing director added his voice, calling the PEGI system "future proof".

"It is a self-regulation system that is operated by experts that are best qualified and experienced to do the job," he added.

"As an international business selling games across the world, we urge government to understand the depth of importance of this decision as we enter a period in which games will grow exponentially."

ELSPA is currently lobbying the UK government to adopt the PEGI system despite recommendations from Tanya Byron that the British Board of Film Classification rate all games for consumers aged 12 and over, and work with PEGI on titles aimed at younger audiences.

Doubting the BBFCs ability to cope, ELSPA has on numerous occasions questioned whether the BBFC has the ability to rate all videogames, and recently publishers Microsoft and EA have suggested that a dual system could push up the price of games for consumers and possibly delay releases in the UK.

"If you look at the PEGI system against the film ratings board in the UK, you will see that PEGI is the only system that has the power to prevent games publishers distributing unsuitable content to children," offered Mike Hayes, CEO of Sega Europe.

"It can ban a publisher’s entire output, rather than just a single title. This power is backed by the entire industry."

ELSPA director general Paul Jackson has said that the issue is the single most important issue the UK games industry has faced in a generation.

"PEGI is the solution for today, and the solution for tomorrow," he said.

"It is designed specifically for interactive software. It understands games and their potential for infinite variations. That’s why it is backed by the vast majority of the computer games industry," he added.

The BBFC insists it can cope with the job of rating all videogames in the UK, and only yesterday questioned the transparency and structure of PEGI.

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