New UK games age-ratings delayed

PEGI's new age-ratings system is now delayed until April 2011
PEGI's new age-ratings system is now delayed until April 2011

The newly-revamped PEGI age-ratings system for videogames in the UK has been delayed and will not come into force until April 2011.

The Video Standards Council has said that no game carrying a PEGI 18 logo should be on shelves in game stores until April 1 2011.

After that point in time, PEGI's age-ratings system will be legally enforceable, with heavy fines for retailers that flaunt the law by selling adult games to minors.

The delay is down to the fact that the recently-passed Digital Economy Act has not yet been 'made effective' according to the VSC.

Ineffective Acts

The VSC statement has issued the following statement:

"The BBFC have approached the UK Government expressing concern that games rated PEGI 18 will be released in the UK without BBFC certification.

"The Digital Economy Act has been passed in the UK but has not yet been made effective. This means there is no change in the procedure for releasing games in the UK. If a game is rated PEGI 18 it must be submitted to the BBFC for a legal classification.

"This is irrespective of whether it contains exempt content as it reflects the voluntary agreement made by the games industry to avoid confusion over 18 rated games. Games must also be submitted to the BBFC if the contain any extraneous video which is not part of the game. This includes trailers.

"The Government has said the legislative change is likely to be implemented on April 1st 2011. The VSC is involved in the discussions regarding the implementation of the new legislation and will ensure that all coders are made aware of the changes to the procedure in good time to allow submissions to be adjusted. In the mean time please continue with your submissions in the same way that you have always done until the VCS advises differently.

"It is important to stress that no games must appear for sale in UK shops with a PEGI 18 logo prior to April 1st 2011."


Adam Hartley