Microsoft have revealed that developers will not be able to ship mature-rated games through the Windows 8 Store in Europe. According to a new report that quotes heavily from the Windows 8 app certification requirements, the new regulations will prevent the sale of any games rated PEGI 18 in Europe, or ESRB Mature in North America.
If that seems a little hypocritical considering the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, well that's because it is."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," reads the relevant paragraph in the Windows Store certification guidelines.
As an extensive piece by Casey Muratori posits, that will mean no no digital version of Skyrim - the PC Game of the Year for 2011 - then. None of the frequently excellent mature titles that pop up on XBLA. No digital distribution via the Store for the likes of "Max Payne 3, The Witcher 2, Mass Effect 3, Assassins Creed 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and Borderlands 2".
The guidelines go on to present more stringent factors that could lead to a failed classification process:
"Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity."
"Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons."
"Your app must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity."
Oh fun times. So it would seem that Microsoft's answer to the close systems of their competitors App Store is to deliver an even more restrictive closed system. Muratori asked for clarification on the matter of submission methods for Metro-style apps, and received this statement back from Microsoft's PR company WEW:
”No, you cannot distribute Windows Store apps without going through the Windows Store. The exception to this is for enterprise apps. Developers can, however, create and offer desktop apps the same way they always have - through their own site or distribution point."
Phew. So that's not so bad for PC owners hoping to ignore the unique Windows 8 UI and use the OS in the same manner as they would with Windows 7. But it's bad news for Windows RT users, and begs the question why gamers would look to "upgrade" in the first place if we're going to be forced to ignore the shiny new draconian UI features just to access the content that we want. [via GI.biz]