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Apple and Google are planing to ignore a proposed ratings system for mobile games, an effort that’s being spearheaded by the ESRB.
Also known as the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, the ESRB, along with the CTIA Wireless Trade Association, is attempting to invade and evaluate the world of Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile games. The groups would like to have all mobile gaming applications rated based on whether or not their content and context are appropriate for various age groups.
For mobile games, ESRB wants developers to submit a survey form for each game, giving thorough details about the kinds of content it contains. The ESRB will then use that information to deliver a rating, which the developer can appeal if she or he feels it is inaccurate or unfair. The game will have the same rating on all app markets and operating systems.
While Microsoft is planning to play along with the new system for its still nascent Windows Phone platform of devices and apps, Google and Apple have showed no inclination to do so.
Although Google and Apple seem resistant to this level of oversight from an external organization, they do police the apps on their own markets. It’s unlikely that such legacy systems would be overturned without some serious external pressure.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into Android Market’s rating system, which now works well globally,” a Google spokesperson told DigitalTrends.
“While we support other systems, we think it’s best for Android users and developers to stick with Android’s existing ratings.”
Apple’s iTunes App Store also has a ratings system of its own as well as age-appropriateness indicators.
ESRB is a bit of a Johhny-come-lately to the mobile games world; its homestead is in console gaming. For games for the Xbox and Playstation, for example, the ESRB has devised a six-tiered rating system ranging from games appropriate for even the youngest children to games only appropriate for adults due to factors such as intense violence or graphic sexuality.