Windows Store Won't Sell Adult-Rated Games

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Windows Store Won't Sell Adult-Rated Games

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Games rated PEGI 18+, including Dishonored, will not be available in Windows' marketplace.

One of the features in Windows 8 is Windows Store: an online marketplace with a "more transparent and streamlined release structure" that "also allows developers to keep up to 80% of their profit". Marketing speak aside, if you're a developer that plans on releasing an Adult or 18+ rated game in Windows Store, you should know that Microsoft will refuse to sell it.

A Microsoft representative confirmed recently that its rating restrictions for apps will also apply to videogames sold in Windows Store. If you open up the Windows App Certification Requirements and scroll down to Section 6.2, it states that "apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or a corresponding rating under other ratings systems...are not allowed." In other words, anything that is rated Adults Only, 18+ or similar won't be accepted into the marketplace.

For American users, the majority of games are rated as ESRB Mature, and the number of ESRB Adults Only games is quite small, so unless you're interested in purchasing some questionable titles from the late 90s, you should have nothing to worry about.

On the other hand, European countries that use the PEGI system will have far less to choose from in their region's store, given that a large number of mainstream titles fall under this rating. This includes titles such as ArmA II, Max Payne 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Mass Effect series, Borderlands 2, The Witcher 2, Dishonored, and more. Games sold in Japan that have a CERO rating of Z will also fall under this restriction; titles such as Dead Rising, Crackdown, Just Cause, RAGE and The Orange Box won't be available for purchase.

It should be noted that users of Windows 8 can still freely install and play these games on the operating system. There will, however, be less incentive for publishers to consider releasing products on Windows Store for mature audiences; a situation that will no doubt hurt the store's chances of success.

Earlier this year, several high profile developers expressed their concerns regarding the operating system, with Valve's Gabe Newell labeling it as a "catastrophe".

Source: critical detail via Kotaku

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At first I thought this was just about those "questionable games from the late 90s", but this is actually quite silly. Seeing how Valve is already protesting against what they want to do with the restrictions in Windows 8 adding this to their basket doesn't seem like something that will help them gain support from publishers/developers.

Isn't the adult market for games the biggest market?

Kids games are popular because they cover a lot of demographics, but mostly children (i.e. under 18s) generally can't pay for things online. Generally.

Like someone said on last weeks podcat: Windows OS' are like Star Trek movies.

Vast majority of the recent CoD's have been 18+ IIRC too.

Look at the Top 10 best sellers that are not sports games, now imagine that a likely 6-7 of them are not being sold in this marketplace. (Estimated number, but I would be surprised if I was too far off.)

If you can afford to buy yourself a pc chances are your not under 18, why would you exclude the demographic that will mostly use it? It'd be like going to a bar that only wants to sell orange juice.

Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

They want you to buy their console games and have you play all the "hardcore" games on their console, not game on your PC. This is obviously a ploy to destroy the piracy prone world of PC gaming! It must be!

Conspiracy theory aside, i'm dumbfounded by this.

You mean people needed more incentive to not use Windows 8?

Yeah, I'm hoarding Win 7 Ultimate discs. Don't try and stop me, you might need one too...

Bill Gates is probably turning in his... uh... well, he probably already has engineers on the task of building him a proper grave that will be comfortable despite all the turning he will have to do.

How, in the age of ever greater freedom and USER CHOICE does Microsoft think the user wants anything other than a solid, stable platform to run THEIR CHOICE of software on as an OS?

Shame really because it just cuts them out of a huge chunk of revenue. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft review this choice in due course. I think this is the case at the moment already on the Xbox Live marketplace too though, I dont recall seeing the option to buy any 18+ games online (even when an 18 game appears under Downloadable Games it just shows game info with no option to purchase).

Gordon_4:
[..]this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Likewise could be said for this comment.

DTWolfwood:
They want you to buy their console games and have you play all the "hardcore" games on their console, not game on your PC. This is obviously a ploy to destroy the piracy prone world of PC gaming! It must be!

Conspiracy theory aside, i'm dumbfounded by this.

The problem is, that Win8 still allows you to install games from other sources, so it's not even like ths will harm PC gaming, people will just continue to buy from existing sources.

This could have been Microsoft's way of stealing away the whole digital distribution market, by having a decent store pre-installed, built right into the system. Then they blew it.

The amount of misleading press Windows 8 gets is absolutely fucking staggering... I know there's this tiny one-line acknowledgement in the second to last paragraph of how much this actually matters, but then why make an article about it???

I cannot believe how thoroughly confused everyone is by Windows RT...

I'll just say it once more in the hope a single person learns something:

Windows 8 does not force you to use the store; Windows RT does.

Windows RT is for tablets.

Example: Windows RT is to Windows 8 as iOS is to Mac OS X

EDIT:

DTWolfwood:
snip

Clive Howlitzer:
snip

fix-the-spade:
snip

Monsterfurby:
snip

Fasckira:
snip

Yep, right there 5 people not getting it... Make me proud, people!

Gordon_4:
Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Assuming the Win7-based desktop environment will always be there in Win8+ is beyond naive. It's akin to MS DOS in Windows 3.0. Eventually it will be phased out. Then software like Steam will not be permitted on Windows systems because it's a third-party store.

But feel free to continue to bask in the ignorant bliss of 'the now'.

Well I can understand not selling adult games if they want to try and keep a 'clean' appearance but not selling games that are 18+? That just comes off as really stupid if they want to try and compete in the online market.

Also thats the first time I've ever seen an article writer on The Escapist including a link to something that contains erotic content in an article before.

I hope windows 8 is enough of a disaster to lose someone their job, so when they get around to windows 9 it won't be a culmination of bad ideas.

Seriously, even when Vista came out it had a few things that "would be nice", but the overall package was unattractive. Everything I hear about windows 8 is just plain stupid.

It's a conspiracy! MS is trying to make EA/Origin look better by offering a horrible online store!

Mr.Tea:
The amount of misleading press Windows 8 gets is absolutely fucking staggering... I know there's this tiny one-line acknowledgement in the second to last paragraph of how much this actually matters, but then why make an article about it???

I cannot believe how thoroughly confused everyone is by Windows RT...

I'll just say it once more in the hope a single person learns something:

Windows 8 does not force you to use the store; Windows RT does.

Windows RT is for tablets.

Well gee, if it's for tablets, letting the OS manufacturer have control over how and what we use the device for is totally ok.

Keith K:

Gordon_4:
Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Assuming the Win7-based desktop environment will always be there in Win8+ is beyond naive. It's akin to MS DOS in Windows 3.0. Eventually it will be phased out. Then software like Steam will not be permitted on Windows systems because it's a third-party store.

But feel free to continue to bask in the ignorant bliss of 'the now'.

You got any compelling, concrete proof that they're gonna do something that monumentally stupid? As it stands, in relation to Windows 8 in its current desktop build, this story isn't really the End of fucking Days, mate. Its an issue for the tablet version, sure, but not the desktop.

You provide me with proof that all of a sudden the desktop environment is going to disappear in a puff of smoke because of Microsoft, and I'll happily take my words back.

Gaming: a hobby for kids. An outlook now supported fully by Microsoft.

Makes me sad.

Mr.Tea:
Yep, right there 5 people not getting it... Make me proud, people!

Don't bother guy, it isn't worth your time singling out everyone who doesn't know what they're talking about. This is the internet, every other post is like that. Just let them miss out on a faster, more featured operating system.

ThreeKneeNick:
Well gee, if it's for tablets, letting the OS manufacturer have control over how and what we use the device for is totally ok.

Have you ever used a tablet computer before? They're all as equally closed o-OH DAMNIT THEY'RE GETTING TO ME TOO!

Keith K:

Gordon_4:
Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Assuming the Win7-based desktop environment will always be there in Win8+ is beyond naive. It's akin to MS DOS in Windows 3.0. Eventually it will be phased out. Then software like Steam will not be permitted on Windows systems because it's a third-party store.

But feel free to continue to bask in the ignorant bliss of 'the now'.

That's true, and it might also explain why they are obiously giving so little fuck. If the Windows Store is eventually going to be the only source of Windows content, then they don't need to appeal to any specific type of content, because that content will stop to exist in the future anyways, if they say so.

So, I'll have to keep using Steam? I'm OK with this.

BTW, is this supposed to replace the infamous Games for Windows Live?

Step one: make obvious moves suggesting you would like to completely take the digital games market and make Steam unnecessary.

Step two: make an online store to execute this plan.

Step three: refuse to sell the most popular games on your service.

Wow.

well this is only hurting themselves. if anything i'm glad because it gives me another excuse not to use a new system

Keith K:

Gordon_4:
Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Assuming the Win7-based desktop environment will always be there in Win8+ is beyond naive.

And assuming it won't is needlessly pessimistic. You don't know shit about what Microsoft intends to do past Win8 and neither do I. All we can do is choose to think one way or the other. Choosing to think that it would be insane for MS to decide to nuke their open platform on the desktop is not naive; they sold 400 million Win7 licenses during the last fiscal year and over 600 million total. The company as a whole made $69.94 billion. Yeah, their business model is clearly broken and they need a drastic change, right?
It's still a possibility for the distant future, but that's it. By the way, I get that they're jealous of Apple's image and some of its success, but even fucking Mac OS X doesn't lock you into the app store! Only iOS does. Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn't it? *cough*Win8=/=WinRT*cough*

Besides, how the fuck did phasing MS-DOS out suddenly not permit 3rd party software on Windows?

Yopaz:
At first I thought this was just about those "questionable games from the late 90s", but this is actually quite silly. Seeing how Valve is already protesting against what they want to do with the restrictions in Windows 8 adding this to their basket doesn't seem like something that will help them gain support from publishers/developers.

You should look at what all has had AO ratings though. Most of them are what you'd expect, but also GTA:San Andreas, the uncut version of Indigo Prophecy, Manhunt 2 (only game to get AO rated for violence and not get cancelled as a result) and a collection called the "Monster Box" (a compilation of Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Evolva, and Sacrifice -- I love the hell out of one of those games [guess which?], and used another as my first test for a new video card for a while [last card I played it on was a GeForce 4]) are also in that heap.

Serious question:
Is there currently any reason at all to even consider getting the new Windows 8 OS?

I mean come on, I haven't seen anything remotely interesting in Windows 8 - so should I change? I don't like the new style and the system doesn't seem to have anything I really need.

The switch from Windows XP to 7 was logical and necessary because of the advanced technologies (32bit to 64bit switch and some other stuff), but what does Win8 do for me as a user?

Mr.Tea:

Keith K:

Gordon_4:
Since you can still install Steam and Origin on a Win8 computer, this story isn't worth the web space it's taking up.

Assuming the Win7-based desktop environment will always be there in Win8+ is beyond naive.

And assuming it won't is needlessly pessimistic. You don't know shit about what Microsoft intends to do past Win8 and neither do I. All we can do is choose to think one way or the other. Choosing to think that it would be insane for MS to decide to nuke their open platform on the desktop is not naive; they sold 400 million Win7 licenses during the last fiscal year and over 600 million total. The company as a whole made $69.94 billion. Yeah, their business model is clearly broken and they need a drastic change, right?
It's still a possibility for the distant future, but that's it. By the way, I get that they're jealous of Apple's image and some of its success, but even fucking Mac OS X doesn't lock you into the app store! Only iOS does. Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn't it? *cough*Win8=/=WinRT*cough*

Besides, how the fuck did phasing MS-DOS out suddenly not permit 3rd party software on Windows?

DOS isn't part of any version of Windows NT or any of it's descendants. As in XP, Vista, and 7 haven't had DOS.

So what exactly are you talking about?

I still don't understand how MS managed to make the most successful console this generation with this kind of idiocy.

nodlimax:
Serious question:
Is there currently any reason at all to even consider getting the new Windows 8 OS?

I mean come on, I haven't seen anything remotely interesting in Windows 8 so should I change? I don't like the new style and the system doesn't have anything I really need.

The switch from Windows XP to 7 was logical and necessary because of the advanced technologies (32bit to 64bit switch and some other stuff), but what does Win8 do for me as a user?

It lets you pay Microsoft money to beta test for Windows 9.

Microsoft operating systems tend to alternate between good and crappy. XP was good, Vista was rubbish, 7 was good. 8 will be terrible and then they'll fix everything up for Windows 9. It's been an ongoing pattern for a while now.

As for this marketplace thing, it's just a terrible business decision on their part and they deserve to lose money and not compete in the online distribution business because of it. Gaming isn't just for little kids anymore and hasn't been for a long time. There's no good reason to cut off a huge potential market base like that.

Who in the flying fuck cares?

Windows 8 is looking to be just another proof of the Windows release cycle of "Shit-Okay-Shit-Okay-Shit"

Who in the hell even asked for a damn app store for Windows?

People will be perfectly capable of buying games the same way they used to, unless Microsoft chooses to ban all other methods of game acquisition, which seems a wee bit nlikely

Raiyan 1.0:
I still don't understand how MS managed to make the most successful console this generation with this kind of idiocy.

The answer to this question is pretty much just halo and gears of wars.

Win 8 seems like a waste of time and effort, seems like its good for notebooks but that's really it.

Okay, I didnt know whats so wrong with Windows 8 before. But now seeing this, I can see a reason why people wont like it. Doesnt answer the reason for all the hate before hand, but I can see some actual justifcation now.

Schadrach:

DOS isn't part of any version of Windows NT or any of it's descendants. As in XP, Vista, and 7 haven't had DOS.

So what exactly are you talking about?

You quoted me out of context.

I ask him how the fact that MS-DOS was phased out indicates in any way that Windows will go closed-platform. (It doesn't; I can't imagine what he'll come up with...)

Besides, what part of the sentence "how the fuck did phasing MS-DOS out suddenly not permit 3rd party software on Windows?" indicates that I think MS-DOS is still around??? What exactly are you talking about?

Well, it could have been a little alternative to Steam, being built right into the operating system and all, not a bad idea. And then they stopped making sense.

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