Retailers that sell titles with ratings of 12, 16 or 18 years to children below the age limits will be subject to prosecution.
To prepare for the move, the government decided to drop a parallel ratings system run by the British Board of Film Classification.
In addition to the age ratings, packaging will also feature diagrams warning if the title includes bad language, drugs, discrimination, fear, gambling, sex, violence or online gameplay with other people.
-Games are rated for 12-years and over if they include non-graphic violence to human or animal characters, a slightly higher threshold of violence to fantasy characters or significant nudity or bad language.
-Games are rated 16-years and over if the depiction of violence or sexual activity looks the same as it would do in normal life. Drug and tobacco references also trigger the age limit.
-Games are rated 18-years and over if there is a “gross” level of violence likely to make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion.