Balatro Delisted in EU Countries as PEGI Changes Rating to 18+

balatro update

Balatro has been taking the world by storm since it was released on February 20, 2024. It is described as being a ‘hypnotically satisfying deckbuilder where you play illegal poker hands’, and it has proven to be a roaring success for indie game fans the world over. Presently, Balatro boasts an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ rating on Steam, but it’s available on all platforms.

Recently, an issue struck Balatro and its publisher – Playstack Games. In Europe, the PEGI ratings board reclassified Balatro, switching the age rating from 3+ to 18+ overnight, without issuing a notice to the game’s developer or publisher. This means that Balatro has now been removed from sale across several digital storefronts in the EU.

‘Fundamentally Unfounded’

In a statement issued on social media, Playstack Games expressed its disappointment in the action taken by PEGI to reclassify the game on the basis that it features ‘prominent gambling imagery’. Here’s the statement:

Balatro does not allow or encourage gambling – and we fundamentally believe the ratings decision is unfounded. Balatro was developed by someone who is staunchly anti-gambling, and painstaking care has been taken to ensure that the game does not feature gambling mechanics of any kind.

Playstack Games will now openly challenge the rating handed down by PEGI, while at the same time ensuring users that the copies they’ve purchased are unaffected by this change. In most markets, Balatro is a soaring success that continues to be reviewed highly by fans and critics the world over.

This story is developing as Playstack Games awaits a response from PEGI.

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