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Ratings could make UK games more expensive, says Microsoft

Publisher echoes concerns made by EA over the impact of more BBFC responsibility

Not only could videogames see later release dates in the UK compared to the rest of Europe, but British gamers might have to start paying more as well.

That's according to Neil Thompson, Microsoft's senior regional director for EDD in the UK and Ireland, who has backed comments made earlier in the week by EA's Keith Ramsdale regarding the potential impact of the dual ratings system proposed by the Byron Review.

"We're in the business of providing great games to a broad audience of gamers, and we need to be able to fulfil that role by getting products to consumers quickly and at a good price," Thompson told GamesIndustry.biz exclusively.

"We're concerned with any measures that would mean this process is made more unwieldy, or incurs additional costs which have to be shared with the consumer."

The Byron Review recommended that the BBFC should take more responsibility for rating games in the UK, mandating it to cover all titles suitable for children aged 12-plus - alongside the publisher-backed PEGI system which is prevalent across a large part of Europe.

"We want a steady stream of product to consumers via retail and therefore support PEGI as the single ratings system in the UK," he added. "That way, we're able to ensure the right content goes to the right audience, as efficiently as possible."

The government announced plans for the ratings system part of the Review to enter a period of public consultation, during which feedback will be solicited from the videogames industry, as well as parents and children.

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