Microsoft’s guidelines for the Windows 8 Marketplace will prevent the sale of any games rated above PEGI 16 in Europe or Mature in the US.
As a result, games rated PEGI 18 will not appear on the app store at all. Europe will be hit hardest by these guidelines as a significant number of titles are rated PEGI 18.
Some developers will see this as another mark against Microsoft’s latest operating system, which has already been slated by Valve and the creator of Minecraft.
One such developer, Casey Muratori, has written a length piece about the guidelines.
Muratori highlighted the following guidelines as issues:
“Your app must not contain adult content, and metadata must be appropriate for everyone.
“Your app must not contain content or functionality that encourages, facilitates, or glamorizes illegal activity.
“Your app must not contain content that encourages, facilitates or glamorizes excessive or irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs or weapons.
“Your app must not contain excessive or gratuitous profanity.”
This effectively means European consumers will be unable to purchase some of the most critical acclaimed titles of the last 15 years nor any new releases. PEGI 18-rated games include Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Deux Ex and The Walking Dead.
Titles rated PEGI 18 can still be purchased in physical form or from other digital outlets and will run on Windows 8.
However, games that are not Windows endorsed will lack some of Windows 8’s newer functionality, unless publishers submit a toned-down censored version for Microsoft’s portal.
You can read Microsoft’s Windows 8 guidelines in full here.