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News Article

Video Game Rating Adjusted in Mexico

By MBN Staff | Tue, 12/01/2020 - 10:00

Buying a video game will no longer be the same for everyone in Mexico. From May 27 next year, a new guideline will come into effect that classifies video games depending on their content, the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) published on the Federal Official Gazette (DOF). Labels will range from A for the whole family to D, which can only be bought by people over 18. This new system will replace the old Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) grading, which features the letters E, T, M and A, making reference to the ratings 'Everyone', 'Teen', 'Mature' and 'Adult'.  

The A rating, aimed at all audiences, will refer to content with a minimum amount of violence or infrequent use of moderate foul language. Likewise, it should not include references to sexual or intense violence, drug use, nudity or sexual content. "Language is moderate and violent phrases are only used when justified by the video game's plot," state the Mexican System General Guidelines for Classification Equivalences of Videogame Content.

Content suitable for people aged 12 or over, with further caricatured, fantasy or light violence, moderate foul language or minimally provocative suggestive topics, will be classified as B. Video games in this category should not include references to sexual or intense violence or sexual content. The B15 classification will be used for video games with moderate violence, violent references, alcohol, tobacco, drugs or blood animation. Suggestive and sexual content, as well as partial nudity and moderate foul language can also be encountered. Only users over the age of 15 may purchase this product. 

Classification C is exclusively for those over 18 years of age. Video games within this classification may contain intense violence, bloodshed, sexual content or strong language. "The level of violence represented is high, explicit, frequent and even brutal, including explicit elements of sexual activity and the naked human body. They may contain intense violence and bloodshed. Sexual content or nudity, use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco and simulated gambling," notes the official document. Meanwhile, the D classification may include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content or gambling with real currency. 

According to the document published in the Federal Official Gazette, sanctions for those establishments that incur in any infraction range from 3,000 to 30,000 days of minimum wage. In April 2017, the Senate gave SEGOB the authority to monitor and regulate video games distributed in the country.

In 2019, the video game industry generated US$148.8 billion in revenue globally. This represented a 7.2 percent year-on-year against 2018, according to data from Newzoo. Out of this total, the most profitable sector was mobile devices, which generated profits of US$68.2 billion, representing 46 percent of all global business. In second place was the console business, which between software and hardware sales generated a total of US$45.3 billion, equivalent to 30 percent of the profits of the entire industry. In Mexico, the Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU) has found that there are about 72.5 million video game fans. Despite this growth, however, Latin America ranks as the region with the industry’s smallest business globally.

The industry profits, according to Newzoo's estimates, will grow 7.8 percent to over US$160 billion by the end of 2020 and by the end of 2022, they will exceed US$189 billion.

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