Microsoft confirms no PEGI 18 games allowed in Windows 8 Store

imageMicrosoft has confirmed to Kotaku that, while the Windows 8 Store will support age ratings, it will still not allow games rated at PEGI 18 or ESRB Mature to be sold in the store.

Section 6.2 of the Windows App guidelines reads:

…apps with a rating over or PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or a corresponding rating under other ratings systems …are not allowed.

Kotaku notes this is not a problem in USA, where the vast majority of games are PEGI 16 and below, but in Europe many popular games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the new Dishonored are in fact rated PEGI 18 and could therefore not be carried.

Games can still be installed as usual via download, CD or through Steam, but this does expose a weakness in the service that should really allow for all possible apps, of course with appropriate protections for minors, simply as a free speech issue. Windows RT devices will of course not be allowed to sideload at all, and will be confined to App Store content.

It is of note that other popular stores like Steam and the iOS app stores also ban “adult” material, and in Europe it is usually violence rather than sex which gets games the highest ratings, but the effect of them being banned in the app store is the same.

Do our readers think Microsoft is being unnecessarily Puritanical? Let us know below.


  • tommy

    Sad developoment. Let the users choose! Make a warning that you have to be over 18 or whatever.

    • TheOne2125

      They can choose just not use the App Store for that particular game, go to any retailer and buy the game. I don’t see what everybody is crying about really. MS is smart with this since they will not have to deal with the various crap with the rating systems. That issue is bet left to the brick and mortar businesses.

  • LPHeadstrong

    In UK/Ireland Assassin’s Creed 3 is 18s! Guess W8 x86 is the only way to go for games!

    • TheOne2125

      Alot of online companies do not sell in certain countries so many just say to hell with the PEGI 18 in the first place before they get fined. How many people in Germany have to order from Austria some games because they are banned in Germany. Remember Gears of War and how Call of Duty would lose whole scenes because of the border issues. I would not touch it either as a major company especially MS, seeing how the EU likes to come for them for debt payments, and Google playing dirty.

  • Albert

    We are slowly
    getting dictated to on every. What ever happened to freedom of choice?

    Was there
    not a child friendly section in windows 8 where you could swipe to for children
    to use anyway?

    • TheOne2125

      The is WP8 its called kids corner totally different.

    • Bugbog

      Some of Microsoft games could be considered PEGI 18. I think this more an issue of them having to deal with close to 200 countries rating systems.

      It may well be far more productive for them to straddle the middle ground rather than get into trouble with multiple territories over a fractional proportion of the gaming market.

      (Not that I’m not worried about this too, as if I get an RT unit I may not get access to these games!)

  • rigouh

    What the hell is MS doing?! Sometimes they act like… waaah

  • NegLewis

    MS should not do this and pay another #1B fine.
    Apple and Google will never pay… because only MS “has a monopoly”… over everything … at 5%.

  •öm/732028942 Kjell Ahlström

    Yes! Finally! The option to buy games with adult content is what is wrong with society today. Good Microsoft, keep those ancient beliefs alive, delivering us from temptation. You should also keep the store closed on Good Friday./sarcasm

  • XB_Mod

    If your live account says you are older than 18 and most Windows user probably are older than 18…whats the frackin problem?

  • frrd

    Not that i care, since i play on console… But this is dumb.

  • Christoffer DrPepper Lundberg

    Put PEGI 18 rating on Windows 8 and it’s solved 😛

  • Mark Matheson

    Full games like Assassins Creed, Dead Space etc were always going to have more traditional deployment such as disk or Steam downloads. Everything I have seen about the Windows Store is the focus is on mobile-style apps so there’s no point getting upset that you can’t get your new favourite game because you can.
    I am curious why the decision against PEGI 18 apps has been made – after all, they aren’t going to stop offering 18 rated movies and tv programmes, are they?

    • Mike Safioles

      On the same page quoted in the article:
      3.5 Your app must fully support touch input, and fully support keyboard and mouse input

      ‘Real’ games like Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Starcraft II, etc. will not appear on the Windows Store.

      The Windows Store, as you said, is catering to the casual games / tablet market.

      I’m not FOR the censoring of apps, but honestly, everybody’s crying like they’re banning PEGI 18 content from the entire OS.

  • Adrian

    WTF is the problem “Games can still be installed as usual via download, CD or through Steam,”. The ones that make these games don’t have to pay a fee to be in the Microsoft store

  • the person

    This is stupid. Might as well ban mature games on Xbox too since you can’t prove if the user is above 18 or not either.
    Sometimes I think Microsoft intentially does something stupid every once in a while cause they cant have people liking them too much.

  • darthtigris

    I think this is the CLEAREST EVIDENCE that Windows 8 will NOT be a walled garden because of the Windows Store.

    Yet reactionary people will run with their first emotive response anyway. Ahh, the internet …

  • koenshaku

    Hmm.. This is curious well there is always steam for the blokes in the UK. Of course those that make games with adult content have the option for digital distribution themselves. What does this mean for GTA I wonder though..