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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E. Zachary KnightPapa, Of course thre is. That has now become a permanent part of the EULA boilerplate template.07/29/2015 - 12:56pm
Papa MidnightIn case anyone is interested, there is a clause written into Section 10 of Windows 10's EULA that provides for a Class Action Waiver, and restricts the user to Binding Arbitration.07/29/2015 - 11:15am
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Andrew EisenMatt - And AGAIN, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published? How is it not accountable to its readership (which, AGAIN, is primarily game industry folk, not gamers)?07/29/2015 - 10:10am
james_fudgeThat's the clean install, for anyone asking07/29/2015 - 9:23am
TechnogeekAlso, it's the upgrade that's available for installation now. You might need to forcibly initiate the Windows Update process before it'll start downloading, though. (If there's a C:\$Windows.~BT folder on your computer, then you're in luck.)07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekAdmittedly there's more room to push for an advertiser boycott when you get into opinion content versus pure news, but keep in mind that reviews are opinion content as well.07/29/2015 - 8:46am
TechnogeekMatts: There's a difference between "this person regularly says extremely terrible stuff" and "I don't like the phrasing used in this one specific editorial".07/29/2015 - 8:45am
MattsworknameWait, is that for the upgrade or the clean install only? cause I was gonna do the upgrade07/29/2015 - 8:32am
james_fudgehttps://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows1007/29/2015 - 8:30am
PHX Corp@Wilson, I'm still waiting for My upgrade notice aswell07/29/2015 - 7:57am
MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
 

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