By Jonathan Charles | Oct 13, 2012 09:06 AM EDT
Windows 8 will not allow software, including video games, to be available in its Windows Store if it is rated over Mature. The news came after blog Kotaku clarified the policy with Microsoft; however, the Redmond-based company quickly explained the issue for incorrect reports.
Windows Store is Windows 8's App Store, and moves away from the completely open nature of previous versions of Windows. Microsoft aims to control the user experience with Modern UI, the version of Windows that features the app store, a policy which drew criticism from notable quarters.
Section 6.2 of Windows App submission guidelines states content over PEGI 16, ESRB Mature or a similar rating, is not permitted. The news, originally reported by gaming culture blog Kotaku, drew a negative reception.
Forbes followed up with its own report, though didn't state over 16/mature as the restriction, prompting Microsoft to respond.
"Putting aside the comments about doing away with ratings entirely (a proposition with which we'd obviously disagree!), I believe you've misreported one of the key points - likely because your source did so. You say that games rated Mature will not be allowed but in fact it's games rated above Mature - or Adults Only - that will be disallowed, which is consistent with how these titles are treated for consoles. See section 6.2 of Microsoft's Dev Center (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh694083.aspx), which states: "Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB Mature, or a corresponding rating under other rating systems...are not allowed," Microsoft clarified to Forbes.
The policy will likely affect Europeans the most; titles including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and The Walking Dead are rated "over PEGI 16."
Of course Modern UI is not the only version of Windows 8: developers and publishers can release games outside of Windows Store as normal; however, consumers may argue that defeats the point of Microsoft offering a dedicated content store.
Windows 8 launches Oct. 26 worldwide. A "celebration" event is taking placed on Oct. 25 for the release.
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