ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile Games

November 29, 2011 -

The ESRB and CTIA have finally revealed details on the voluntary rating system for mobile apps that was revealed last week. The ratings system currently has the support of six major mobile service and hardware providers including AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Apple and Google did not throw their support behind the new ratings system because they already have their own process and system in place - and it has been refined to their satisfaction.

According to details released by the ESRB and CTIA, developers will fill out a questionnaire for their game to determine an age-appropriate rating ranging from 6+ to 18+. This process will be free of charge to developers. These ratings will be based on categories of content including sex, violence, language, the depiction of drug or alcohol use, user generated content, third-party data sharing and location sharing.

The ESRB promises that it will "routinely test the most popular applications" to make sure the ratings being generated are accurate, and respond to user complaints by adjusting ratings swiftly if they are found to be inaccurate.

Arkansas senator Mark Pryor lightly praised the new system, saying that he applauds both groups for "this consumer-friendly initiative," adding that it is a "win-win when industry takes proactive, responsible steps to protect children from inappropriate content."

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile ...

So its ratings are 6 to banned? Or will 18+ games be allowed to be sold on phones but still not allowed on consoles?

Re: ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile ...

Considering these ratings are voluntary and only for mobile games, I doubt any will be banned. At least not by the ESRB. Some app store providers may not want 18+ games, as Andrew said, but the developer is still free to sell and distribute the apps themselves.

Re: ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile ...

I know not legally banned but AO style banned.

Re: ESRB and CTIA Detail Voluntary Ratings System for Mobile ...

There's no law against it so it will be up to the service providers.  If Apple doesn't want to sell 18+ games then there won't be any in the app store.

 

Andrew Eisen

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