Apple and Google have chosen to opt out of a new industry-sponsored app ratings system developed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in favor of their own internal systems. CTIA-The Wireless Association and ESRB issued a press release announcing the new system today, but both companies were absent from the list of adoptees.
The new ratings system is very similar to that used to rate console games in the U.S., which employs a five-point scale ranging from “everyone” to “adults-only” to rate games based on things like violence and sexual content. The system is particularly useful to parents when determining whether or not a certain title is suitable for their kids.
David Diggs, Vice President for Wireless Internet Development at CTIA, says the system helps consumers establish the kind of content featured in mobile apps:
“It made sense as an industry to provide a ratings mechanism that will provide consumers with information about the content available on the apps.”
However, Apple and Google — two of the largest mobile apps providers which offer over 500,000 and 300,000 titles respectively — believe their own systems are just as suitable, and have chosen to continue with those instead.
Unsurprisingly, Apple has declined to comment on the matter, having already outlined its stringent app review process. But Google did have something to say on the matter. A company spokesman, Christopher Katsaros, said its best for both developers and users if the company sticks with its own ratings system:
“We’ve put a lot of effort into Android Market’s rating system, which now works well globally. While we support other systems, we think it’s best for Android users and developers to stick with Android’s existing ratings.”
Diggs did say, however, that although the main goal of the ESRB is to provide information to consumers, he is not concerned that Apple and Google have chosen to opt out.