The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) today announced a new free service for rating all digital distribution games.
“ESRB’s new “Digital Rating Service” utilizes a brief but detailed online questionnaire to assess not only a product’s content and age-appropriateness, but also interactive elements, including the sharing of personal information or physical location and exposure to unfiltered user-generated content. This newly streamlined service will first be put into use for downloadable games available from a number of computer and video game platforms including Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation® Network, PlayStation® Vita, PlayStation™ Certified devices, Nintendo® eShop, Wii Shop Channel™ and Windows 8, with other digital content aggregators, online game networks, streaming and download services to follow.
The streamlined rating process makes obtaining an ESRB rating fast and easy by assigning a rating immediately. By simplifying the process and eliminating the cost to developers, the ESRB expects to broaden adoption of its ratings among game providers of all types. The resulting ubiquity of ESRB ratings will ease a parent’s job by presenting a single ratings standard across the many platforms on which their children access games. Increased adoption of ESRB ratings also means that developers will no longer be subject to differing and oftentimes conflicting rating systems and standards for their digitally delivered games. ESRB’s Digital Rating Service complements the CTIA Mobile Application Rating System with ESRB, a program launched last year through which ESRB assigns ratings to mobile apps using a similar process.”