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PEGI suffers new delays

Political back-tracking means new ratings system now not expected to go live until September

The UK government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport has pushed back the legal implementation of the PEGI ratings system to at least September this year, following its attempt to reintroduce BBFC labelling into games.

According to UKIE, which is contesting the plans, the DCMS has submitted an initial proposal that contains "some areas of contention that would still allow for dual labelling" by both the BBFC and PEGI on some linear content - such as trailers.

"Any dual labelling is contrary to the principles that were established in having PEGI introduced into the Digital Economy Act and if this proposal were implemented we believe it would only cause unnecessary and potentially harmful consumer confusion," read a statement.

"UKIE is unhappy with this proposal and the subsequent delay in implementation and is working with DCMS officials to resolve these outstanding issues as quickly as possible. UKIE has recently held a meeting with officials where we strongly advocated the need to have just one rating label on all videogames packaging and we are confident that these issues will be resolved favourably for the interactive entertainment industry."

The news is a further frustration, following years of delay from the government in acting on child safety issues first raised in the Byron Report in 2008 that identified parental confusion over the nature of age ratings on games.

Following the last minute passage through Parliament of the Digital Economy Act just prior to the General Election last year, the PEGI ratings system was expected to be implemented in Spring this year.

But now, any newly-agreed proposals will once again need to be approved by the UK and European governments - meaning September would be the earliest the ratings system would see the light of day.

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