Windows Store adopts IARC rating system

Microsoft app store for PC, tablet and phones will use the streamlined content rating process

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) today announced that the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) is being deployed on Microsoft's Windows Store for games and apps. The IARC, which effectively streamlines the global content rating process for developers on digital platforms (read more about it here), will see its ratings appear in the Windows Store on PC, tablet and phones. The Xbox platform will continue to use the traditional ESRB ratings.

With the IARC rating system, developers can obtain age ratings by answering a single set of questions about their product's content and interactive elements; their responses are then used to automatically generate different age ratings from each participating territory (and a generic rating for the rest of the world).

"With low barriers to entry and single-click access to a global digital marketplace, the number of game and app developers has sky-rocketed as has the volume of digital games and apps they publish. To address these market forces, international rating authorities joined forces to establish a revolutionary unified process that simultaneously generates trusted and familiar ratings for multiple territories while preserving each of their distinct cultural standards," said Patricia Vance, president of ESRB and chairperson of IARC.

"We applaud these storefronts for deploying the IARC rating system, enabling developers to obtain ratings at no cost and providing consumers with culturally relevant and trustworthy guidance about age appropriateness of the content in games and apps they may be considering for download."

"Microsoft has long supported IARC's efforts to bring forward a single, much streamlined and cost effective global rating process for developers. We're pleased to make the IARC system available in early 2016 in the Windows Store as a way to help our customers find regionally relevant ratings for games and apps," added Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Store and Developer Marketing, Microsoft.

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