MCVUK writes that Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher (left) endorsed the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating system over that of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) during last week’s state-of-the-industry speech at E3 in Los Angeles.
From the MCVUK report:
As part of his keynote speech, Gallagher was critical of the Byron Report’s highly controversial backing of the BBFC system – and made it clear that the Entertainment Software Association believes it was the wrong way to go.
MCVUK is referring to this section of the Gallagher speech:
Friends and allies across the globe are facing their own challenges. Our success as a business and entertainment medium has caught the attention and the interest of foreign regulators and governments. Earlier this year we saw the release of the Byron Report, which praised the ESRB’s work with retailers to help enforce sales restrictions to minors. We are now seeing a robust debate between the BBFC and PEGI. And while this is a European question requiring a European solution, our American experience proves that industry self-regulation is the best way to provide parents the information they need to make appropriate purchasing decisions.
Frankly, we’re not reading Gallagher’s remarks as expressing criticism of the Byron Review, although the ESA head’s preference for self-regulation is clear. On the other hand, it would be natural for the ESA to back PEGI, as its UK game industry counterparts, including publishers’ group ELSPA, have expressed a clear distaste for handing game rating responsibilities over to the BBFC.
We’ve got a request in to the ESA for clarification on Gallagher’s view. In the meantime, you can read the full text of Gallagher’s E3 speech here.