ESRB Introduces Rating System for Downloads

Posted by at 3:11 pm on October 24, 2012


The Entertainment Software Rating Board is attempting to streamline the release of downloadable games, announcing a new rating service specifically targeted at XBLA, PSN, eShop, WiiWare, and Windows 8 downloads. The no-cost service relies on a brief online questionnaire through which developers self-identify the adult content.

Most relevant to the digital market, the new questionnaire also rates games in terms of their information sharing and user-generated content, with the ESRB introducing the new content descriptor images above. “Shares info” means that the game sends some user information to a third party; “Shares Location” means that your physical location is visible to others (or can be), and “Users Interact” means that the player may communicate with other people in the game, or interact with user-created content.

Sony may be ahead of the curve on this initiative. These self-reported ratings closely resemble the system that Sony is already using for PlayStation Mobile games. Sony has already worked out similar programs with Japan’s CERO and Europe’s PEGI in addition to the ESRB.

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