The plan to switch from BBFC to PEGI videogame ratings in the U.K. has been pushed back to September as the country's game industry says it's "unhappy" with the government's current plan for the changeover.
In 2009, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport decided to switch the U.K.'s videogame rating scheme from the British Board of Film Classification to the Pan European Game Information system, which was established in 2003 specifically to classify videogames. The game industry has supported the change since the 2008 release of Dr. Tanya Byron's "Safer Children in a Digital World" report, saying the system is better suited to videogames and more appropriate for the global market because it's already being used by other countries across Europe.
Actually getting the job done has proven to be a bit of a slog, however, and now the matter has been pushed back once again as the U.K. government and U.K. Interactive Entertainment trade body continue to hash out the details. A new update on the UKIE website says the implementation of PEGI is "not likely until at least September of this year" because the government's proposal still allows for dual labeling (BBFC and PEGI) on games that contain "linear content" like trailers.
"Any dual labeling 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," the trade body said.
"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," it continued. "UKIE has recently held a meeting with officials where we strongly advocated the need to have just one rating label on all video games packaging and we are confident that these issues will be resolved favorably for the interactive entertainment industry."
The change had already been pushed back from its original completion date of April 1 earlier this month when Minister of Culture Ed Vaizey said there were still "a few kinks" to iron out.