The ESRB has announced a new change in policy with ratings as they will now point out in-game purchases such as loot boxes. The company made the reveal this morning, stating that they had started assigning the In-Game Purchases and Users Interact notices to games. The goal os the "In-Game Purchases Interactive Element" informs parents and other consumers of titles that basically offer in-game stores and other opportunities to purchase additional items. They will now provide more information to people when it comes to in-game items available for purchase as they will now assign a new Interactive Element: In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items) notice below the ratings you see on the covers of games. Here's more info on it from the ESRB.
"This new Interactive Element, In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items), will be assigned to any game that contains in-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real-world currency (or with virtual coins or other forms of in-game currency that can be purchased with real-world currency) for which the player doesn't know prior to purchase the specific digital goods or premiums they will be receiving (e.g., loot boxes, item packs, mystery awards). In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items) will be assigned to all games that include purchases with any randomized elements, including loot boxes, gacha games, item or card packs, prize wheels, treasure chests, and more. Games that have the In-Game Purchases (Includes Random Items) notice may also include other non-randomized paid elements."
While we're sure this will help out some parents and others from deciding whether to buy a game or not, it's basically just a warning already added to another warning. It really doesn't do anything to deter the use of loot boxes in video games or to force companies to find an alternative. With countries looking into the matter left and right and banning the use of them in certain regions, it's only a matter of time before it will be pointless to add them if you can't use them in half the markets you cater to.