Iran NOT Joining ESRB

A report that Iran was "joining" the ESRB received wide play on game news sites last week. However, that information appears to be erroneous.

When the story first broke, GamePolitics immediately questioned the report, which originated in the Tehran Times.

We also put in a request to the ESRB for clarification. Spokesman Eliot Mizrachi took time from his holiday break to respond to GamePolitics:

Our ratings apply to games available at retail in the U.S. and Canada. No membership is required to submit games to ESRB.


Companies from other countries may submit for rating if the game is to be sold in the U.S. and/or Canadian market… Our ratings apply to games sold in the U.S. and Canada only…


We have not had any discussions with Iran about their adopting our rating system.

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  1. 0
    Arell says:

    Correct, that has nothing to do with governmental censorship, just self regulation.  It would be just as wrong to force a company to put out AO games against their will, as it would be to force them not to.  I would be curious as to how many "potentially" AO games there are readily available on the Japanese market.  Does Sony or Ninten…. err, does Sony allow hentai-type games on the PS3?  I thought those were a PC genre alone…

    Admittedly, the original stance against AO type games was out of fear of governmental regulation.  Stores wouldn’t carry them, and the console giants didn’t want the bad PR.  But I think the climate has changed quite a bit since then, and if sold in a manner that was restricted to kids, an AO market could form.  The ultra-mega-super-violent games could be kept behind glass, sex games could be sold in porn or sex shops, and real-money gambling games are the realm of the internet already (and you need a credit card).

    However, like I said before, you can’t force the Big Three to accept them, it’s their choice and freedom to say no.  And maybe they do have good reasons.  Nintendo tries to keep a certain family-friendly appearance up, because that’s how they want to be viewed.  I can only guess at Sony’s and Microsoft’s motivations, but I’m sure they have them.

  2. 0
    shady8x says:

    Iran has different values and over there, they judge games and all art from a completely different prespective… so this bit of news was rather obvious…

  3. 0
    Derovius says:

    North America is not much better in terms of exercising this so called freedom from censorship. Anyone know of an AO game on any of the major consoles? Oh, thats right, the parent companies of said consoles don’t want that type of product on their systems. So much for me choosing what I want to play.

  4. 0
    Arell says:

    As I thought before, they’ll most likely create their own ratings system.  And then use it to regulate the hell out of the gaming industry in Iran.  Censoring or outright banning.

  5. 0
    Keith K says:

    The fact that the ESRB only applies in the US and Canada is a major reason why I get so pissed off when some arrogant dick of a US politician tries to force their bible thumping agendas on the ESRB and subsequently on me, who has absolutely no power in their (the US politician’s) appointment. Also why I am always so proud of the ESRB when they shake off such agendas.

    With that so firmly in mind, the idea of the ESRB having anything to do with Iran, on any level whatsoever, is a laugh. If the ESRB can’t do things well enough for your average American politician, they’d sure have an uphill battle in Iran.

  6. 0
    VideolandHero says:

    When the story first broke, GamePolitics immediately questioned the report

    LOL, no you didn’t, you took it as fact!  XD

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

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