Microsoft 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.
…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.