The ESRB’s winter newsletter has revealed that, despite the videogame industry’s continuing growth, the percentage of M (Mature) rated videogames is continuing to shrink.

In the newsletter, ESRB President Patricia Vance said that the number of games rated by the Board jumped 22 percent in 2007 to a total of 1563, 94 percent of which were rated T (Teen) or lower. “This past holiday season was the biggest ever for videogames, contributing to record-breaking sales in 2007 of nearly $19 billion in the U.S. alone,” she wrote. “And although we tend to hear from the media most about the more controversial Mature-rated games, the reality is that 8.5 out of every 10 games sold last year were rated as appropriate for ages 13 or younger.”

According to ESRB figures, games rated E (Everyone 6+) dominated the Board’s slate in 2007, accounting for 59 percent of games rated throughout the year. Next in line were games rated T (Teen), suitable for gamers 13 years of age or older, which was assigned to 20 percent of the games rated, and E10+, for gamers at least ten years old, at 15 percent. M (Mature) rated games accounted for only six percent of all the games rated by the ESRB in 2007, down from eight percent in 2006 and 12 percent in 2005.

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