You may remember our story from the start of the month about Microsoft’s new age rating system. The company announced that it would be removing apps that don’t comply today, Friday 30th September.
Microsoft hasn’t announced any leniency on that date, so we assume that quite a few apps will disappear today. Though everything seems quiet at the moment, it may be a while before reports roll in.
New Age Rating System
Previously, app publishers had to choose manually between age ratings from different authorities such as DJCTQ, ESRB, and PEGI when submitting for approval. The new system is simplified, and automatically generates ratings for the various regions.
To begin, developers need to fill out a quick, multiple choice questionnaire.
Questions cover information such as the app category, language, nudity, violence, etc., and the rating is determined from this.
Here’s the email Microsoft has been sending around:
“As part of our continuing efforts to improve the Store experience for our joint customers, we notified you several times to complete the Dev Center age rating questionnaire for your apps that did not have ratings based on the questionnaire.
If you do not act by the deadline of September 30, 2016, we will need to unpublish your app for failure to comply with policy 11.11, Age Ratings.”
We suspect a lot of developers haven’t opted in because they have either forgotten the app or no longer have access to it. It’s hard to tell why Microsoft is doling out such a harsh punishment. The removal will affect users as well as developers, and the amount of apps on the store isn’t exactly huge as it is.
No doubt all the major apps will remain, but smaller, niche apps aren’t always less useful. The removal also applies to private and beta apps, which seems a little excessive. It’s possible the threat is an empty one to scare developers into compliance, but we will soon find out.
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