Apple and Google turn down ESRB ratings

This week, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced plans to partner with CTIA Wireless Trade Association for the purpose of expanding its videogame content rating services to mobile applications. Unfortunately for the organization, Apple and Google – two of the largest app store players – have confirmed they will not be taking part.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into Android Market’s rating system, which now works well globally,” stated a Google rep in a chat with Digital Trends, adding, “While we support other systems, we think it’s best for Android users and developers to stick with Android’s existing ratings.”

Apple's App Store is home to over half a million applications, while Google's Android Market library plays host to over 300,000 and counting. Both online storefronts already employ their own unique age-appropriate rating systems, making ESRB's proposal redundant.

ESRB's mobile app initiative isn't completely DOA. Microsoft has voiced interest in including the ESRB-brand labels for its Windows 7 smartphone apps, while carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Cellular Corp, and T-Mobile are also said to be on board. Regardless, one has to wonder if there's much point in ESRB going through with its digital initiative if two of the biggest mobile app players are reportedly giving it the snub.


Apple ESRB Google


  • NeoTechni - December 1, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Good. Those esrb jackholes are why I can't get a psp devkit. I don't want them getting one red cent from what I can dev for
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - December 1, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    The ESRB is too bloated. Why does it cost thousands of dollars for a few people to watch a video montage of a game and put a "T", "M" or whatever rating on it? It seems as if the ESRB is a business out to make money for itself instead of an industry backed ratings system.
  • comaqi - December 1, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    In a world of 12 year old kids playing COD, does an ESRB rating even mean anything?
  • JMAN1156 - December 1, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    did it ever?
  • Crabhand - December 1, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    It gives us something to point to if someone actually realizes what their kids are playing. They make the parent look retarded for not paying attention. If anybody actually payed attention to them they might seem more relevant, but at this point they are there to avert negative publicity.
  • angelusdlion - December 1, 2011 4:39 p.m.

  • FriedBeans - December 1, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    I suppose giving parents some guidance is good even if they choose to ignore it. I don't know if we need the ESRB for that guidance. Game developers would be fine to categorize their own game as to its content. We do know it adds to the cost of a game to get it ESRB rated. Something that has held back legacy Virtual Console games from being released. The problem is that every publisher would have their own categories confusing parents to a somewhat already confusing system. The ESRB does serve its purpose. The problem with the ESRB for mobile games is that they don't have the revenue to support the additional ESRB costs so the platforms are coming up with their own.
  • D0CCON - December 1, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    The ESRB means parents have power over what their kids have access to, not the government, so for that alone I'm happy (the Supreme Court case likely would have gone the other way without it).
  • comaqi - December 1, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    I'm glad the ESRB exists, if nothing else it lets us tell the feds we're "self regulated".

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