This week Microsoft announced that its Windows Store in the new Windows 8 operating system will begin accepting games with a PEGI 18 rating. The move was prompted by a large outcry from gamers, who saw the ban on “mature” titles as censorship.
The Windows 8 app certification requirements have been updated to reflect this announcement:
Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed, unless the app is a game, is rated by a third party ratings board, and otherwise complies with these certification requirements. 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.
So, games (and only games) are in the clear. That’s convenient for Microsoft, which publishes game titles that receive PEGI 18 ratings, such as the new Halo 4. From the announcement:
In welcoming PEGI 18 games into the Store, we again reinforce two principles—flexibility and confidence—fundamental to the Windows Store. We recognize that people have come to expect and appreciate rich gaming experiences on Windows and this includes games rated PEGI 18. We also want to ensure that every customer using the Store can browse and acquire apps with confidence.
As part of its announcement, Microsoft pointed out that the Microsoft Family Safety software included with Windows 8 allows parents to control the types of apps children can install. Also, it announced that The Witcher and Grand Theft Auto IV will soon be coming to the Windows Store.