Activision Blizzard is being fined by the PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) Complaints Board and Enforcement Committee over the inclusion of microtransactions in its 2022 mobile game Diablo Immortal.
This news comes just after Nintendo got sued in North America over its implementation of loot box microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour. However, this decision comes from the European game ratings board PEGI after a reassessment of Diablo Immortal’s rating. Activision Blizzard, along with Hunt: Showdown Bounty Hunter — Limited Edition publisher Plaion, got fined over not properly disclosing the presence of microtransactions in their games when disclosing information to PEGI for a game rating. That’s a shocking omission in Diablo Immortal’s case, considering just how much it entices players to spend money on the game.
“Both games were published in 2022 and although they contain paid random items (like loot boxes or card packs), this was not disclosed to PEGI when the games were submitted for a rating license,” a description of the case says. “Since this amounts to a violation of the rules described in the PEGI Code of Conduct, the PEGI Enforcement Committee sanctioned both companies with a fine of 5000€. The companies had also taken immediate action to update relevant store listings and marketing materials.”
A fine of only 5,000 Euros is an extremely small drop in the bucket for a company like Activision Blizzard; Diablo Immortal alone was estimated to be making $1 million a day around its launch by Appmagic. Still, it’s a noteworthy slap on the wrist and will hopefully encourage companies like Activision Blizzard to be more open and honest about the presence and relevance of microtransactions in their games.
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