Microsoft Utilizes Asinine Windows 8 Marketplace Ratings Block
Well, this is a new one for Microsoft.
The Redmond, WA based megacorp has released a lengthy list of requirements for programs on the Windows 8 Marketplace. About halfway down the nearly 4,500 word document, one might notice the following paragraph:
5.1 Your app must not contain adult content, and metadata must be appropriate for everyone
Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed. Metadata and other content you submit to accompany your app may contain only content that would merit a rating of PEGI 12, ESRB EVERYONE, or Windows Store 12+, or lower.
Now, some of the other provisions under this sub-head, like no racist, sexist, or other offensive for the sake of being offensive stuff is to be expected, but the ban on all games PEGI 16/ESRB M rated games is a surprise.
After all, Microsoft themselves has published quite a few M rated games on PC (not to mention their Xbox offerings) over the years, including:
- Halo 2
- Gears of War
- Fable: The Lost Chapters
- Fable III
- Dungeon Siege II
- Metal Gear Solid (yes, MS published the PC version of this)
This is a new position for them on PC, especially when you consider they released a video of Bill Gates holding a shotgun and wearing a trenchcoat from inside Doom (via green screen) to promote Windows 95.
Many of the most promising and highly anticipated games coming this year (and early next, because all of a sudden every publisher loves February and March) are headed for an M rating. CoD BlOps 2? You bet. Dishonored? Of course it is. Bioshock Infinite? Most definitely.
And this isn’t just a recent trend. Looking through PC Gamer’s list of The 100 best PC games of all time (hardly a scientific study, I know, but it’s a solid list to work from), 40 have an M rating (or in the case of Doom, helped lead to the creation of the ratings board in the first place). In fact, four of the top five are M rated. Keeping M rated games off the marketplace is just asinine.
They are going out of their way to make sure they have a much weaker selection of games than any other store or distributor, and to please who exactly? Even the stores that adopted those ridiculous ”clean version” only rules for selling CDs carried M rated games.
I guess it won’t be too much of a problem, as most PC gamers will continue just buying their games through Steam, but it’s still concerning. Microsoft is making their own Windows 8 tablet now, and it seems like they’re wanting to get things officially certified for Windows 8. If certain companies build devices (PC, tablet, or otherwise) under agreement to a closed marketplace (a la Apple’s business model), a lot of people could be shut off from a big section of the videogame industry.
Now do you see why Notch hates Windows 8 so much?