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Windows Marketplace: No Adult Rated Software, Please

By - Source: Kotaku | B 35 comments

Skyrim will probably be banned from Microsoft's Windows 8 marketplace in Europe based on its rating.

A Microsoft representative confirmed with Kotaku on Thursday that Windows 8's marketplace -- which will be a native app in the new operating system later this month -- will not offer games with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB Mature ("M") or a corresponding rating under other ratings systems. This rule, which resides in section 6.2 of the Windows App guidelines, applies to all software sold within Microsoft new virtual storefront.

Here in the States, very few games that sport an A rating will be banned from the Windows 8 store. But Kotaku points out that European gamers will need to look elsewhere to purchase a number of popular titles that have been awarded the PEGI 18 rating. These include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 2 and 3, Fallout: New Vegas and many more.

Kotaku's inquiry to Microsoft was sparked by an article written by Casey Muratori called The Next Twenty Years. He explains why the closed distribution model of Windows 8 will need to be changed "for the sake of developers, consumers and Microsoft itself."

"For the first time in the history of the PC, Microsoft is rolling out a new Windows ecosystem for which they will be the sole software distributor," he writes. "If you buy Windows 8, the only place you will be able to download software that integrates with its new user interface will be the official Windows Store. Microsoft will have complete control over what software will be allowed there."

The article assumes that even more games – and possibly other media for that matter – will be banned from the Windows 8 store based on content alone, not just their rating. Here are a few reasons, taken stright from Microsoft's own guidelines:

"Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity," reads section 5.3.

"Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons," reads section 5.6.

"Your app must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity," states section 5.8.

Instead of becoming just another player in the touch device space, he suggests that Microsoft should become one of the primary forces fighting to make tablet development as open as desktop development was under traditional Windows.

"They could take market share from the completely closed (and thoroughly dominant) iPad, and help restore to that space the freedom to innovate that developers lost when Apple imposed its restrictive policies," he suggested.

So far it looks like that's not going to happen.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    bigdragon , October 12, 2012 4:03 PM
    This is insanity. I am an adult. Don't stop me from buying adult software. No Windows 8 for me. I don't even think I want to buy a Surface Pro anymore even though I planned to put Windows 7 on it. Absolutely disgusting news from Microsoft.
  • 11 Hide
    axehand13 , October 12, 2012 3:59 PM
    Another reason why NOT to upgrade.
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    mcd023 , October 12, 2012 3:48 PM
    wow, Europe is strict. I wonder if they'll find a solution to allow those games, but still filter what they want. On the flip side, it's not like you'll be running those on ARM anyway; though it'd be possible to port them to Metro apps, I don't think that these will be ported.
  • Display all 35 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    nebun , October 12, 2012 3:52 PM
    interesting....can i also own a hard copy of the game?
  • 11 Hide
    axehand13 , October 12, 2012 3:59 PM
    Another reason why NOT to upgrade.
  • 17 Hide
    bigdragon , October 12, 2012 4:03 PM
    This is insanity. I am an adult. Don't stop me from buying adult software. No Windows 8 for me. I don't even think I want to buy a Surface Pro anymore even though I planned to put Windows 7 on it. Absolutely disgusting news from Microsoft.
  • 9 Hide
    CaedenV , October 12, 2012 4:07 PM
    bigdragonThis is insanity. I am an adult. Don't stop me from buying adult software. No Windows 8 for me. I don't even think I want to buy a Surface Pro anymore even though I planned to put Windows 7 on it. Absolutely disgusting news from Microsoft.

    Surface and Surface pro will have 'secure boot', so you simply will not be able to put win7 on it in the first place.
  • 1 Hide
    bllue , October 12, 2012 4:17 PM
    I don't think MS would regulate this...they'll probably change it and make the rules for lenient because they're literally banning A LOT
  • -4 Hide
    cercuitspark , October 12, 2012 4:21 PM
    axehand13Another reason why NOT to upgrade.


    Why, it won't block you from running 18+ games, it's just that the MS store won't sell them...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2012 4:21 PM
    @caedenv
    That not how secure boot works , it's used to lock down the software not hardware

    @bigdragon
    why the bloody hell would you buy a touch device only to use a non-touch optimized OS, and this applies to the Ms app store only, your free to buy your adult stuff elsewhere, it's windows not ios you free to install whatever you feel like from where ever, just MS isn't going to he selling it though their app store thats all
  • 3 Hide
    COLGeek , October 12, 2012 4:37 PM
    An unintended consequence of rules and regulations on an international scale. It is easier (and less expensive) for M$ to do this than to be held liable for violating any particular country's laws.

    Actually, like it or not, this is a smart move on M$'s part.
  • 6 Hide
    RedJaron , October 12, 2012 4:46 PM
    Relax, people, this is just talking about software purchased directly through the Windows Marketplace. The article makes it sound as though that's the ONLY way to get apps on Win 8. That may be true for the RT/ARM version on slates, but there's nothing preventing someone from getting a game through another distribution means for their desktop.

    This is nothing different than what Android, iOS App Store, or Steam already do. It's their store, they can decide what types of products they want to offer ( and as COLGeek says, what countries they don't want to get into legal battles with. )
  • 2 Hide
    falchard , October 12, 2012 4:54 PM
    Whats so difficult about making an Adult rating filter? Ugh its so stupid, Microsoft does not understand that the Adult market is huge.
    Just imagine how many IE users use the "InPrivate" modes to search for porn. Thats the Microsoft that should be displaying to the world.
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , October 12, 2012 5:06 PM
    RedJaronRelax, people, this is just talking about software purchased directly through the Windows Marketplace. The article makes it sound as though that's the ONLY way to get apps on Win 8. That may be true for the RT/ARM version on slates, but there's nothing preventing someone from getting a game through another distribution means for their desktop.This is nothing different than what Android, iOS App Store, or Steam already do. It's their store, they can decide what types of products they want to offer ( and as COLGeek says, what countries they don't want to get into legal battles with. )

    +1
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/10/11/windows-8-marketplace-will-not-carry-pegi-16-games/

    So yeah, just install Steam and be happy with it (this is good for Valve, btw)
  • 2 Hide
    Kami3k , October 12, 2012 5:16 PM
    COLGeekAn unintended consequence of rules and regulations on an international scale. It is easier (and less expensive) for M$ to do this than to be held liable for violating any particular country's laws.Actually, like it or not, this is a smart move on M$'s part.


    That's funny, every game listed Europeans can buy anyway on Steam and the such.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 12, 2012 6:40 PM
    I don't understand why these 'app marketplaces' (which are a horrible idea to begin with) feel the need to censor the apps. I can understand if an app is going to be harmful to the end user (spyware, etc), but why filter based on the content? If they are breaking any local laws, take it up with the app creator, not the maker of the OS. I guess because M$ will be handling the actual money, they are taking liability?
  • 8 Hide
    Anaxamenes , October 12, 2012 7:16 PM
    I can see a very long future for Windows 7 on my desktop and bootcamped laptop.
  • 2 Hide
    bigdragon , October 12, 2012 8:09 PM
    RetailDiscretion@bigdragonwhy the bloody hell would you buy a touch device only to use a non-touch optimized OS

    Because my primary use for a Windows tablet is for it to act as a digital sketchbook on the go. I care about the stylus input the Surface Pro has. Windows 7 isn't very touch-friendly, but it is quite stylus-friendly. I've had no issues with Windows 7 and existing tablets like the Asus EP121 or Motion LE1700. The Surface Pro looks like an upgrade in terms of hardware. Windows 7 doesn't get in my way like Windows 8 does.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 12, 2012 8:20 PM
    @bigdragon

    I have a Samsung state7 and can unequivicolly say win8CP is an infinitely better experience than win 7 on the slate, lm unsure what pat of win 8 got in your way but if your can do it on win7 than you should be able to do it easier on win 8, slate wise any ways
  • 3 Hide
    QEFX , October 13, 2012 12:22 AM
    "encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of ... weapons."

    So no First Person Shooters since they all qualify with the above statement. So no Halo ... too bad MS. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , October 13, 2012 1:24 AM
    You have f--king got to be kidding me.

    What the f--k is this $#!+?

    For f--k's sake, Microsoft...we don't need a PG-13 operating system!
  • 0 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , October 13, 2012 3:11 AM
    This may be true on WinRT, but on x86 Win8 you absolutely will be able to install whatever software you want regardless of whatever rules Microsoft has for their app store, as you can still install software the old-fashioned way. The app store is just *another* avenue for getting software.

    Thanks for writing a misleading article to get wild knee-jerk reactions like we're seeing in the comments here, Mr. Parrish.

    Also, people seem to be missing that this applies to things rated *over* PEGI 16 / Mature / whatever. That makes it more of a rated "R" operating system, not rated "PG-13". Only in the UK will games like Fallout: New Vegas and CoD be banned due to their more stringent rating system. Most other places things like that will certainly be available. Just because those incredibly vague rules about violence and whatnot are there doesn't mean they're going to be overzealous about enforcement of it. They're just giving themselves the option.
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