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Game ratings

August 19, 2014

Applies to Windows Phone

Here’s some info about game ratings and how to get them.

A game rating indicates suitability for certain age groups, and is usually accompanied by an official certificate. Different countries and regions have different ratings standards and organizations. For example, the United States has the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating, while much of Europe has Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).

In many countries or regions, game ratings are voluntary. In the following countries, ratings are required:

  • Brazil, Russia, and South Korea. In Brazil, Russia, and South Korea, you must obtain a game rating and a rating certificate before you can distribute your game to those markets through the Windows Phone Store.

  • Taiwan. In Taiwan, you must self-report a game rating before you can distribute your game to that market through the Store, but you do not have to provide a rating certificate.

NoteNote:

Windows Phone Store doesn’t allow adult content.

Game ratings are reported in Windows Phone Dev Center as part of the app submission process. The corresponding certificates are uploaded as PDF files.

  • US and Canada. If you’re distributing your game to the US, Canada, or both, an online tool for creating certificates is simple to use and free at ESRB.

  • Europe (including Russia). If you’re distributing your game to regions in Europe and in Russia, you can get your game rated using this free online tool from PEGI.

  • Taiwan. If you’re distributing your game to Taiwan, the rating system is self-reported. This means that you select the appropriate game rating in Dev Center and report it to the rating board. No rating certificate is required. For descriptions of ratings and instructions on how to report your rating, visit CSRR. For descriptions and instructions in English, download this document.

  • Brazil. If you’re distributing your game in Brazil, your game must have a DJCTQ rating and an accepted rating certificate. You can meet this requirement in one of the following two ways:

    • Submit your game to the DJCTQ to receive an official rating and rating certificate. Visit DJCTQ to complete this process.

    • Self-determine your DJCTQ rating and acquire an ESRB or PEGI rating certificate. To self-determine your DJCTQ rating, review this document and select the most applicable rating in Dev Center. To acquire an approved rating certificate, use the free online tools from ESRB or PEGI.

      NoteNote:

      If you self-determine your DJCTQ rating, you must specify an ESRB or PEGI rating certificate for upload in the DJCTQ row in the form. This is required even if also specify the same certificate in another row of the form.

For more info about game ratings in your locale, or any locales in which your game will be released, and about how to obtain a rating certificate where a certificate is required, visit these rating boards’ websites:

Supported Ratings Boards

Keep these things in mind before you get a game rating certificate:

  • Know where you plan to sell your game. This knowledge can save you from any unnecessary delays to your app’s release.

  • When you design your game, think about your audience. An unnecessary piece of profane dialogue or a poor choice in art assets could limit the number of people that can use your app or game, and make the certification process longer and more complex. Target a specific rating audience early in the game design process.

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