id Software Developer Explains Why Google, Apple Avoided New ESRB Ratings System

December 1, 2011 -

The ESRB and the CTIA detailed a new ratings systems for mobile games this week - backed by such companies as AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Two companies that were curiously absent from that list hold the lion's share of the market when it comes to platforms: Apple and Google. Both companies said publicly that it didn't make a lot of sense for them to sign on to the new ratings system because they already had their own systems in place. While developers and publishers will argue about the pluses and minuses of both ratings systems, it looks like they are here to stay. This obviously hurts the ESRB's efforts to create a ratings system for North America that covers every kind of mobile game.

GameIndustry.biz has a story on this - featuring the comments from both companies on why they opted to go it alone when it comes to ratings, but the most interesting part of the article are comments from Rafael Brown, a design lead at id Software. Responding to other commenters, Brown lays out some compelling reasons why the two platform holders decided to keep the ratings in-house:

"@Gabriel - Do your homework, the ESRB is not an independent body anymore than the MPAA is. They are self regulating bodies. @Michelle - You realize that there is no global ratings system? If you create a PC/console global release you could be submitting to 10 different ratings bodies easily. There will always be regional differences. Different countries want their own ratings systems.

By asking for one system you completely ignore _why_ Apple and Google want to control their own ratings. Small developers may not have the time or money to submit to multiple ratings systems. Apple and Google are providing an actual unified ratings system for their platform. This is a first. They're doing what you asked for, better than the PC/Console space. Why are you criticizing?

And Apple and Google technically sell in more markets. Apple iTunes sells in 126 countries. All ratings systems combined cover less than half of those countries. What do you suggest Apple does for the other 60-80 not covered?

Mobile development can be fast in pace and some of the developers are quite small. Asking a garage developer of two people to submit to the same regulatory body run by EA, Acti, Ubi, MSoft, Sony, Ninty, etc ignores that garage devs can't afford to.

Apple and Google are thinking of the range of developers that develop on their platform, of that I'm thankful. As for complaining about what sticker is on the box... digital games have no box. Please learn about a platform before you make random complaints about it.
"

The real question is how much does it hurt the ESRB's efforts when its ratings don't cover a majority of the mobile games being produced today? Some would say it seriously undercuts their efforts...

Source: GameIndustry.biz

 


Comments

Re: id Software Developer Explains Why Google, Apple Avoided ...

id: Blah blah blah pc development is too hard, its all about consoles and tablets now.

I grow tired of your negativity id.

 
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quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
quiknkoldAndrew Eisen : Kotaku did a whiole article on it, as did others http://kotaku.com/we-might-be-witnessing-the-death-of-an-identity-162820307909/17/2014 - 3:59pm
CMinerQuiknkold: Do you think that there are no cases where a piece of art (painting, movie, videogame, comic cover, etc) is unambiguously sexist?09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
quiknkoldand can you imagine if Spiderwoman was posed like this? http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/spider-man1.jpg09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
Andrew EisenWhat games outlet is writing articles saying "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers"? What examples have you seen of journalists being paid off for favorable reviews? Who's shaming what now? What's the problem with critiquing the Spiderwoman cover?09/17/2014 - 3:57pm
james_fudgeWell there's def "politics" involved in this issue. The movement was hamstrung by bad behavior and illegal activites here. We would have covered it more if not for those unforutnate happenings.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldhttp://i.imgur.com/v3p8Bwf.jpg Here you go EZacharyKnight. Spidermans Buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldwhile another person doesnt see it09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldJames_fudge : I feel like the people challenging Games are the same people who Challenge Art because Michaelangelo's David shows Wang. The problem is, alot of things with Games are left to the eye of the beholder. One Person see's Sexist Antiwomen views.09/17/2014 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I don't recall Spider-man's costume conforming to the contour of his buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
quiknkoldIts the same Agenda Fueled Journalism youd find on Fox News or MSNBC. I appreciate Gamepolitics for just stating the facts.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
 

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