Hit Game Balatro Pulled From Sale On Some Stores Due To “Unfounded” Ratings Change

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The hit roguelike card game, Balatro, has been pulled from some digital storefronts due to an overnight ratings change.

The issue has mostly affected EU storefronts such as the Nintendo eShop and PSN Store. However, publisher PlayStack is confident that the game’s availability on Steam will not be impacted. “This is not an issue with the stores themselves, however a reaction to an overnight change to Balatro’s age rating from 3+ to 18+ by a ratings board without any advance warning, due to a mistaken belief that the game ‘prominent gambling imagery and material that instructs about gambling,'” the developer said in a statement.

PlayStack also clarified that it doesn’t encourage or allow gambling, and finds the ratings decision “unfounded.” PlayStack brought up this specific topic with the ratings board back in October and was given a 3+ rating instead of 18+.

The developer assured that the game will be back up for sale, possibly with a temporary 18+ rating while it attempts to resolve the problem. It is also still available for sale on digital stores in the United States.

Another game, Sunshine Shuffle, was temporarily banned last year in certain markets due to the combination of cute animals and poker. At the time of its release, it remained available on Steam and itch.io, but was unavailable on the Nintendo eShop in North America, while South Korea completely barred it.

Balatro has become a big hit, selling 250,000 copies in 72 hours across all platforms. The game also grossed $1 million within eight hours on sale, with the first hour already making it profitable for the developer.