Microsoft drops PEGI 18 game ban from Windows 8

October 26, 2012 // 10:44 a.m.

Tags: #digital-distribution #esrb #pegi #windows-8 #windows-8-marketplace #windows-marketplace

Microsoft has officially scrapped rules that prevented games with an 18 rating from the Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) programme from being listed in the Windows Marketplace.

Announced ahead of today's Windows 8 launch, Microsoft's rules stated that games rated above PEGI 16 would not be eligible for listing on the integrated digital distribution service, along with games rated above Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the US.

Microsoft's desire to keep grot away from PCs is understandable, but humanity's predilection for violence and mayhem means that a majority of triple-A titles launched today meet PEGI 18 or ESRB Mature guidelines - banning games such as Dishonored, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Bioshock from being sold through the store in Europe thanks to PEGI 18 ratings, despite their lower ESRB rating meaning they could be sold in the US.

That confusing scenario is now no more, with Microsoft officially announcing that games with a PEGI 18 rating can be listed and sold so long as they meet the criteria for an ESRB Mature rating. Those that go beyond such levels, hitting the rare ESRB Adults Only rating, will still be banned world-wide.

Sadly for those picking up a copy of Windows 8 today, it's going to take some time for the change to take place with Gizmodo stating that it won't come into effect until December after which publishers will be free to list their PEGI 18 material.

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