Application placement tips for countries requiring age ratings

Original author: Bernardo Zamora
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Applications for Windows and Windows Phone are available in hundreds of countries, and this is reflected in my Windows Store trend post . In many such countries, there are organizations that assign a rating of the appropriate age group to the application. In some countries, these ratings are optional, but in several countries, in order for the application to be published, it needs to be assigned an age rating.





These age ratings are usually based on the content and key characteristics of the application, their goal is to provide users with information about the contents of the application or game. The picture on the left is an example of how a user in the United States of America sees an ESRB rating in the application description in the Windows Store.

Windows and Windows Phone support age ratings. In this post I will share tips and ideas on how to simplify the publication of applications in countries that require age ratings, and I will also tell you in detail about how to prepare your application for publication in the Windows Store.

Age Rating Review


Windows and Windows Phone app stores support age ratings from content rating organizations, for example:

  • United States Uses ESRB Estimates
  • Most of Europe uses PEGI ratings
  • In Japan, they use CERO ratings

All of these evaluation commissions have formed standards for each evaluation category regarding their system; customized ratings for applications are based on these standards. Most appraisal organizations also provide a certificate of evaluation (in PDF format or similar), which confirms the evaluation. In most countries, in order to provide an application with an age rating from a third-party company, you need both a rating value and a rating certificate .

It’s always good practice to get an age rating for your application, even if it’s not necessary, as this will help users choose the content that suits them.

In addition to country-specific age ratings, the Windows Store additionally requiresAssign an age rating for each individual application that is hosted and distributed through the Windows Store. This article only deals with ratings specific to different markets.

Remember that adult games are not allowed to be published on Windows and Windows Phone Stores, unless they contain valid age-related adult certificates for all countries in which they are published and meet all other certification requirements:

- for the Store Windows, make sure that you select the "Adult Content" age rating
for the Windows Phone Store, make sure that your game contains valid "adult" age rating certificates that are accepted in each country in which the application is published hiccuped.

Age Assessment Overview


When preparing the application for publication, you select the countries in which you plan to publish your application. If for some selected countries a game rating is required, then you need to get the rating value and supporting documentation for each country, and then submit your application for publication:

  • Windows Phone Store : Provide your application, in the metadata indicate the rating for each store (where necessary), and upload the rating certificates.
  • Windows Store : Create a single GDF file with all the ratings for the application, provide the application, prepare, send a single GDF file with all the ratings and upload the certificates of evaluation.

Below I will give a table with all countries that require an age rating, and describe in detail the process of preparing the publication of applications for them.

Does your app need an age rating from the evaluation committee?


The following evaluation commissions are supported by the Windows and Windows Phone Stores.
 Windows Windows phone 
The country Do I need an age rating?Evaluation CommissionDo I need an age rating?Evaluation Commission
BrazilYesDJCTQYesDJCTQ
Russia*YesPCBPYesPegi
South KoreaYesGRACYesGRAC 
TaiwanYesCSRRYesCSRR
South AfricaNot necessaryFPBNot necessaryFPB
United States, CanadaNot necessary ESRBNot necessary ESRB
Europe (without Russia)Not necessary PegiNot necessary Pegi 
Germany Not necessary USK Not necessary USK 
Japan Not necessary CERO Not necessary CERO 
New Zealand Not necessary OFLC-NZ Not necessary OFLC-NZ 
Australia Not necessary COBNot necessary COB 

* Assessment process for Russia differs for Windows and Windows Phone. Windows Phone currently supports PEGI, while Windows supports PCBP.

Each evaluation committee has its own process for obtaining an assessment.

For example, for ESRB we offer a free online assessment tool ( Windows or Windows Phone ). For PEGI, we can also offer a free online tool ( Windows or Windows Phone ). In order to receive ratings or certificates of assessment from other evaluation commissions other than ESRB and PEGI, please visit the relevant commission sites.

Next, I will introduce you to the process of obtaining an assessment for each country in which an assessment is required.

Game ratings in Brazil


Brazil requires content to be rated using the DJCTQ rating system. Evaluation system DJCTQ leads Brazilian Coordination Advisory Rating ( Brazilian consistent evaluation consulting service ). There are three ways to get grades for your application in DJCTQ:

or

Add grade to Windows Phone app

In the Windows Phone development center , in the process of sending the application, in the Application Info section, open the More Options section, then select the DJCTQ rating from the drop-down list and upload the certificate (by scanning the official document of the DJCTQ government or adding certificates ESRB or PEGI).


Add grade to Windows app store

First create a GDF file (game description file) and add a DJCTQ score .



Then, in the process of sending the application, upload the GDF file to the Windows Development Center (Windows Dev Center) in the Age Rating section:



And add the certification file (DJCTQ, PEGI or ESRB certificate):



Ratings of games in Russia


Russia requires a PCBP score that you assign yourself based on your PEGI score. Thus, the first step is to get a PEGI score (use the online form of Windows and Windows Phone to get it ), then evaluate the game yourself using the PCBP instructions .
Add grade to Windows Phone app

In the Windows Phone Development Center , in the process of sending the application, in the Application Info section, open the More Options section, then select the PEGI rating from the drop-down list and download the PEGI certificate.



Add grade to Windows app store

First create a GDF file (game description file) and add a PCBP score .



Then, in the process of sending the application, upload the GDF file to the Windows Dev Center, in the Age Rating section:



Add the PEGI certification file :


Game ratings in South Korea


In Korea, all games must be evaluated using the GRAC system (formerly GRB). To get the rating, follow the instructions described on the GRB website. If you are not from Korea, you will need a local representative in Korea to apply for an assessment.
Add grade to Windows Phone app

In the Windows Phone development center, while sending the application, in the Application Info section, open the More Options section, then select the GRB rating from the drop-down list and upload the GRB certificate.


Add rating for Windows Store app

First create a GDF file (game description file) and add a GRB rating .



Then, in the process of sending the application, upload the GDF file to the Windows Dev Center in the Age Rating section:



Add the GRB certification file:


Taiwan Game Ratings


Taiwan requires content to be rated by the CSRR rating system. CSRR is a self-assessment system, so you should give an assessment based on the CSRR instruction (in Chinese / English ). You must also register with CSRR as a developer (this usually takes several days) and then register your name with CSRR through their website .
Add rating to Windows Phone app

In the center of the development of Windows Phone Dev Center, in the process of sending the application page on the application (App Info), expand the section Options ( More the Options ), then select CSRR assessment from the drop list. No certificate is needed .


Add rating to Windows Store

First create a GDF file (game description file) and add a CSRR score .



Then, in the process of sending the application, upload the GDF file to the Windows Development Center (Windows Dev Center) in the Age Rating section:



Then add a screenshot from the CSRR website , which shows your rating confirmed by CSRR.


Last step


After you have an assessment and certificate, and you added them while preparing the application for publication, I advise you to double-check that the application can be published there in this market.
For Windows Phone , when publishing the application, go to the Store selection, then check that the country or countries to which you are publishing stores is selected:





For Windows , when publishing the application, go to “Sales details”, then check that it is selected the country or countries in whose stores you publish:





Publishing your apps in countries that require an age rating can increase the number of downloads of your apps, so if you haven't published your apps in all of these countries yet, take the time to do it now.

For more information, see the Windows Game Assessment documentation, Windows Phone Game Assessment documentation , and see how to create a GDF file .

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