The ESRB looking for a better way at rating Android games

The ESRB are looking into a new way to better, more efficient, way rate mobile and digital games. Last year the ESRB created a new system that was suppose to cut down on the requirements for getting your Android or iOS game rated by the ESRB. This was in preparations for the flood of games that are being released onto these platforms.

This new system was to be applied for digital titles, mostly regarding mobile games on Android and iOS but also for digitally released games on other platforms as well. Unfortunately this hasn’t stopped the workload from being borderline ridiculous for them as there is no real automated process for a developer to go through when trying to get your game rated by the ESRB. Now they are looking into a way to at least automate part of that process.

One problem though is that while the ESRB is trying to get in on the mobile gaming front with their rating system, iTune and the Android Market already have their own rating systems which allows developers to rate their own games appropriately. This completely ignores the 14 government-backed systems that is currently in use around the world when it comes to rating games. In fact the ESRB completely admits that it isn’t able to handle the work load that comes with having to deal with thousands of titles coming in for ratings:

“None of us are used to having to rate hundreds of thousands of products. We’re used to the typical flow of boxed CDs or movies or games.”– Entertainment Software Ratings Board head Patricia Vance

Essentially this leaves the ESRB with really one option and that is to create some sort of automated system, even if it is only partially automated, where developers can go through to get their titles rated by them. This would require almost making an entirely new platform to do this job. The real question is though, will iTunes and the Android Market even bother implementing it when they have their own system which works just fine?

In case you were curious, under the old system it would cost a developer $4500 and about a week for them to get their game rated by the ESRB. You could see how this would make for a huge backlog when you have all of these mobile games that need ratings, even under the new system with lower requirements.

Source: Vox Games on the Verge

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