This morning we posted a story from from MTV Multiplayer regarding the ESRB’s position on downloadable content (DLC).
We heard back from the ESRB with a clarification from president Patricia Vance (left):
Companies are free to offer downloadable content to their games as long as the pertinent content is the same as the core product. If it isn’t, they have to submit it to the ESRB.
If the downloadable content earns a more restrictive (higher) age rating, and it is of an optional nature, it must display the new rating prior to the user downloading it. The core product’s rating won’t change, unless the new downloadable content is part of a required patch, as is typically the case with MMOs that must be patched in order to play.