Microsoft announced yesterday they are lifting their ban of PEGI 18-rated games from the Windows Store.
Microsoft originally announced back in October that games like Dishonored, Grand Theft Auto IV, Skyrim, and Mass Effect 3—and all games rated PEGI 18 (the Pan-European equivalent of anything rated higher than ESRB’s “Mature”)—would be prohibited from sale on the Windows Store. Now, it seems, they have reassessed their stance.
On the MSDN blogs, Windows StoreDirector of Program Management Ted Dworkin wrote:
“Windows has long been a favorite platform for games of all types, and age rating support for PEGI 18 is another step forward in a rich tradition of supporting gaming on Windows. We’ve described this support in Certification Requirement 5: Windows apps are appropriate for a global audience, and its subsections. There, we have additional content definitions and describe how the various game ratings organizations relate to the Windows Store age rating.
“In welcoming PEGI 18 games into the Store, we again reinforce two principles—flexibility and confidence—fundamental to the Windows Store. We recognize that people have come to expect and appreciate rich gaming experiences on Windows and this includes games rated PEGI 18. We also want to ensure that every customer using the Store can browse and acquire apps with confidence.”
More importantly, some of those games—such as The Witcher and Grand Theft Auto IV—are already on their way to the Windows Store.