PEGI announces PEGI Express

Hilversum, 1 September 2011

PEGI S.A., the organisation that manages the pan-European age rating system for video games, today announced that PEGI Express, a new rating process specifically designed for mobile platforms, is now available for games for the Windows Phone platform.

Games rated via PEGI Express will display the familiar age rating icons that video games on consoles and PC are already using, so consumers can easily recognise and understand the ratings. PEGI Express is not a different rating system - it uses the same criteria as ratings for console games and verification will be handled by PEGI administrator NICAM - but it is a new process built specifically to deal with the surge of mobile games.

PEGI Express is designed to cope with a very high volume of required ratings and the need for quick turnover time to match the flexibility of the digital distribution model. For this reason, it uses a post-release audit system to verify the ratings of games. Due to the digital nature of game apps, corrections can be performed easily and instantly when necessary. The audit fee will be carried by Windows Phone, making this a cost-effective and time-efficient solution for game app developers.

Developers will be able to access the PEGI Express tool directly through the Windows Phone platform as an integral part of the app submission process. Submitting a game requires a very short time: games with barely or no content that can be inappropriate for children of a certain age are classified at once. Only as the amount and diversity of potentially inappropriate content increases, more questions need to be answered.

“At Microsoft, providing parents with the tools to help keep their children safe online is a top priority, and we have made considerable investments in this area both in our Windows environment as well as on the Xbox 360,” stated Chris Lewis, VP IEB, Microsoft EMEA. “Given the fast growing popularity of mobile gaming amongst a younger age group, we felt that it was critical to apply those same rigorous standards to our Windows Phone devices as currently apply to Xbox and Games for Windows titles.”

“PEGI continues to play a crucial role in the interactive entertainment sector,” continued Lewis. “As a founding member of PEGI, Microsoft continues its strong commitment to safe entertainment, by working together with PEGI to help developers rate their games quickly and effectively.”

“We are very pleased to have Microsoft as a committed partner and we are delighted that the Windows Phone Platform is the first to feature this new technology”, commented Simon Little, Managing Director of PEGI S.A. “PEGI Express fills a clear need for a system to classify mobile game content so that informed decisions can be made by parents. Windows Phone games rated via PEGI Express will use the same set of age labels that video games on consoles and PC are using already, making it easy for consumers to recognise and understand them.”

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