Microsoft simplifies age rating system for Windows 10 app submissions

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Parents tend to frown on their kids playing games that are blatantly inappropriate to their ages. That’s why age rating systems exist, to set guidelines for kids (and, more importantly parents) to understand whether a game is appropriate for them. Market-specific rating systems exist, such as the ESRB and PEGI, but that’s cumbersome and requires hours for developers to wade through.

That’s why Microsoft is now supporting the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), which supports age ratings across geographies that thus requires far less work for developers to utilize in pushing their apps for submission. As Microsoft details:

The IARC rating system is a global rating and age classification system for digitally-delivered games and apps. With IARC, you complete a single questionnaire about the content in your app during submission and Dev Center automatically adds regional and international age rating certificates to the Store listing for you. If you change your app’s content, you can update the questionnaire and receive a new rating at any time.

IARC makes it quick and simple to obtain age and content ratings across the globe, making it easier to offer your apps in more countries and markets. There is no cost to you, and the questionnaire can be competed in just a few minutes. The ratings are then automatically generated for:

– Classification Board (ACB) in Australia
– Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd) in Brazil
– Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in North America
– Pan European Game Information (PEGI) in Europe
– Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) in Germany
– International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) for general purpose

Once the IARC rating is established, Microsoft can issue its own Windows Store rating, the CSRR for Taiwan, and the PCBP for Russia. Clearly, this process is less intensive than the previous system.

The Dev Center team provides all of the details a developer could want over at the Windows blog. Things can get tricky when preparing an app for submission to the Windows Store, but it looks like Microsoft is doing everything it can to make the process easier–and thus hopefully increase the number of submissions. And that’s good for all of us.