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."