Google Play adds age-based ratings to games, buckles down on reviewing apps

Google Play's New App Ratings System

On its Android Developers Blog, Google has chronicled two changes coming to the Play Store.

The first of these changes is a global content rating system for apps and games. Starting today, developers will need to complete a content rating questionnaire of each of their apps and games in order for them to receive ratings. The official ratings will come from the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), Australian Classification Board, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK), and Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd).

Developers will need to sign into the Developer Console and complete the new questionnaire for their apps. Apps without a completed questionnaire risk being unrated and may be blocked in certain territories for some users. In May, all apps, whether new or existing, will need to meet this requirement.

Lastly, there is a new app review process. Starting some months ago, Google reviewed apps before they were published to Google Play. It has now added a team of experts who will be responsible for reviewing violations. Developers can view the status of their apps at any times and clearly will be able to understand why any are rejected or suspended,. They can resubmit those with minor policy violations.