Microsoft Changes Policy on PEGI 18-Rated Games in Windows 8 Marketplace

This week Microsoft changed its policy on selling games on its Windows 8 Marketplace in regions under the PEGI ratings system that carried an adult rating of 18. Before the change users couldn't get their hands on any games rated 18 like Mass Effect 3.

"Windows has long been a favorite platform for games of all types, and age rating support for PEGI 18 is another step forward in a rich tradition of supporting gaming on Windows," wrote Ted Dworkin, Director of Product Management for the Windows Store. "We’ve described this support in Certification Requirement 5: Windows apps are appropriate for a global audience, and its subsections. There, we have additional content definitions and describe how the various game ratings organizations relate to the Windows Store age rating."

"In welcoming PEGI 18 games into the Store, we again reinforce two principles—flexibility and confidence—fundamental to the Windows Store," he continued. "We recognize that people have come to expect and appreciate rich gaming experiences on Windows and this includes games rated PEGI 18. We also want to ensure that every customer using the Store can browse and acquire apps with confidence."

Dworkin went on to say that consumers can now expect to see adult rated games like The Witcher, by CD Projekt, and Grand Theft Auto IV by Take Two – with more games coming soon.

Source: MSDN Blog by way of Eurogamer.

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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I thought the big 3 didn't allow adult games o ntheir consoles even then, to keep a basic family friendly image and all.

    Seriously, the whole Rapelay mess taught us that a game that only exists in a foreign market can cause a mess here. The average morally panicked suburban parent won't know what a region lock is, they'll just beleive that these games can somehow find their way int othe house without them knowing.

  2. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    No. PEGI 18 is the top rating in the PEGI system. The PEGI 16 rating is the closer equivalent to the ESRB M17 rating. The reason PEGI 18 and ESRB AO ratings are treated differently between the US and Europe is that the US has a backwards thought process about what it means for a game to be "adult".

    Personally, I think that GTA, Gears of War and Manhunt deserve and AO rating and I am fine with that. I think that should be marketable. Sadly it is not so and the ESRB, games retailers and game developers have been conditioned to react poorly to AO ratings.

    What we need is for a major retailer such as the Windows Store, or a major game developer/publisher/manufacturer such as Microsoft to say that AO rated games are welcome.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
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    My Patreon

  3. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    If they had thought of this in the first place and never made the dumb move to start with, I'd have believed them on the whole supporting gaming efforts and all that. But if you make this kind of mess, it's a good indication you aren't in touch with reality anymore.

  4. 0
    Elle says:

    The problem was that PEGI 18 was more equivalent to ESRB M and the two standards were unequal and excluded a ton of "mainstream" games. Beneath the Microsoft PR speak is the fact that they screwed that up and almost certainly ticked off the big publishers.

    For better or worse, most major US retailers make it a policy not to carry AO titles or titles that would have AO content, even if only because of the bad PR (and you can bet a lot of the people who do make AO-level games aren't going to bother with the ESRB rating knowing they won't get in those venues). To change that, you'd have to change the moral preconceptions of millions of people.

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