If you thought Apple’s Mac App Store policy was strict and a little over the top, then get a load of this: Microsoft will not be allowing PEGI 18 or ‘adult’ rated video games into the Windows 8 Marketplace.
This isn’t a massive issue for those of you in the United States, where very few titles are ever given a rating beyond ‘mature’. However, for those of us in Europe, where quite a lot of games are rated PEGI 18, it’s a pretty significant stipulation. For example, here are just a few of the titles that won’t be allowed in the Windows 8 Marketplace:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Witcher II
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Max Payne 3
The Walking Dead
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Spec Ops: The Line
Fallout: New Vegas
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
I think you’ll agree that some — if not all — of the titles in that list will be a big loss.
Their exclusion from the Marketplace doesn’t mean you won’t be able to play them, of course; you still have the freedom to obtain these games from other sources and install them on your machine. However, they won’t be able to take advantage of all of Windows 8’s features — including its new user interface.
Kotaku notes that the inclusion of this rule in Microsoft’s Marketplace policy almost suggests that the company hasn’t quite thought things through:
I’m trying to think of a reason for this beyond Microsoft’s US staff simply not thinking through the ramifications this would have on European publishers and gamers, really trying, but I just can’t find one.
Again, this isn’t the end of the world, because we can install adult games from other sources. But it is a surprising move — one that Microsoft may have the rethink later on.
How do you feel about this?