Apple, Google skip ESRB mobile app ratings

Kevin Fitchard, for GigaOM:

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) intends to apply the age-rating icons now familiar on PC and console games to mobile apps, providing a way for parents to monitor and restrict the games and content their kids download. Five mobile operators and Microsoft have signed on to the new system, but more notable are the players missing: Apple and Google.

It figures, since Apple and Google both have their own well-established and robust systems for rating apps in their respective stores.

The ESRB rating certainly carries name recognition with consumers and software publishers alike, but at least in the case of PC and console games, it costs a lot of money to get that rating. Which may partly explain Apple and Google’s reluctance. Another is the ESRB’s admission that it is relying on application developers’ honesty to fill out their applications, since the company doesn’t have time to test them all.