ESRB Content Ratings Won’t Be Coming to Mobile Apps any Time Soon


The Entertainment Software Rating Board, the same entity that made a big stink out of the likes Mortal Kombat in the early 90s and whose ratings you will find plastered on the front of video games to this day, wants to extend its reach into mobile software. Owners of the leading app market places, Google and Apple, don’t want anything to do with the notion. Both mobile giants already have their own rating systems in place for games and apps found in the Android Market and Apple App Store, and don’t see how the ESRB could improve on the system. Like the process app makers currently must undergo to launch an app in either major marketplace, the ESRB relies on a self-assesment questionnaire filled out by developers. The extra step seems superfluous, despite the recognizable rating system creating a sense of unity between console and PC games and their smartphone counterparts. If the ESRB continues to pressure mobile software retailers, we could see the familiar ‘E for Everyone’ logo plastered upon Angry Birds someday, but for now ratings will be left in the hands of Google and Apple.

[via Engadget]

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  1. go away
    noone pays any notice to you on console or pc games and noone will one mobile games.

    1. Parents notice, but I’m over 17, don’t have kids, and am very comfortable with killing pigs with flightless birds.

      1. When I worked at EBGames (now gamestop) I do not recall a single parent who told me no my son/daughter cant have this game because it’s rated M.
        They usually had a fit that they had to get out of the car and come inside just to tell us it was OK for their minor child to buy the game. ;)

        Oh, they notice. Just 90-95% of the time they just don’t care.

  2. I agree with Google and Apple on this one.  There is no need for such redundancy.  I don’t see it really causing any harm… but I don’t see it doing any good either.

    1. The harm would be added time to get apps into the Market.  Imagine the additional weeks (or more) for the ESRB to review your rating application, the software application and approve an “appropriate” rating.

      1. True… true.

  3. ESRB = Extremely Stupid Ridiculous Bullcrap

  4. The esrb think they are better than everybody else they have become a standard on console games, but there is no need to push onto mobile devices. Especially android, considering it is open source.

  5. Another component not being mentioned here is that the ESRB charges the developer a rather hefty FEE to be rated!!! Try to the tune of about $2,500!!!…Unless your title is sub-$250,000 value, then it’s a “mere” $800 fee!!! And those numbers are based on an article I read that was dated in 2009, so it’s likely MORE than that now.

  6. “the same entity that made a big stink out of the likes Mortal Kombat in the early 90s”

    this is wrong, Politicians made a big stink about games like Mortal Kombat, and the gaming industry created the ESRB so they could self-regulate and also to shut the Govt up.

  7. Getting your game rated by the ESRB is just like paying “protection” money to the mob.
    You pay them because you have to “or else” and they count their money. $_$

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