Games are available on almost every different platform imaginable, from home consoles and PCs to iOS and Facebook. Not only that, but there are different ratings systems around the world, and Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello wants that to change.
“We live in an incredible age. In the past three years the audience for games has grown from roughly 200 million, to over one billion. Virtually everyone on the planet who owns a phone, can play a game. The Supreme Court has given us the same First Amendment rights as authors, musicians and film makers – a set of rights which we cherish. But as we are so often told: With great freedom, comes great responsibility. To live up to that responsibility, we need to do a better job informing the consumer, no matter the channel, the platform or the geography. We must adopt a self-regulated, global rating system across every format games are played on,” he said.
“We’re at a point in history when we’ve never been so free to create and distribute content,” Riccitiello continued. “But we’re also at a point when we need to update the way we inform consumers. Consumers are finding many new places to get their games – Facebook, Google, Apple, as well as services like Steam and Origin. Most have a rating system, but none are consistent. Consequently, we are confusing the consumer.”
ESRB head Patricia Vance has said that they are working with other ratings bodies to create a global system. “We must move beyond the alphabet soup of game ratings and consolidate behind a single standard that consumers will recognize and, ultimately, demand,” Riccitiello concluded.