updated 10:27 pm EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
Previously unrated content ranked by developer questionnaire
The self-regulatory body for the video game industry, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), today announced a streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games. ESRB's new "Digital Rating Service" utilizes a brief-but-detailed online questionnaire to assess not only a product's content and age-appropriateness, but also interactive elements, including the sharing of personal information or physical location and exposure to user-generated content.
This newly-streamlined service will first be put into use for downloadable games available from a number of computer and video game platforms including Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop, Wii Shop Channel and Windows 8, with other digital content aggregators, online game networks, streaming and download services to follow.
"The ESRB's Digital Rating Service is the most sensible way to implement ratings across the many platforms on which we now publish games," said John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts. "A consistent standard is in the best interest of publishers and consumers alike, empowering parents with the information they need to make informed choices for their families."
The streamlined rating process makes obtaining an ESRB rating fast and easy by assigning a rating immediately. By simplifying the process and eliminating the cost to developers, the ESRB expects to broaden adoption of its ratings among game providers of all types. Neither Apple nor Google implement the ESRB system in their respective app stores, and the new revisions to the program are not expected to entice the giants to do so.