Microsoft has changed its policy of blocking 'Adult' rated games from the Windows Store in Europe. Publishers can now submit previously-denied games rated PEGI 18 in Europe to the app store, which due to the nature of European game ratings compared to those in the US, would have prevented a number of big-name titles from being sold.
In contrast to the ESRB's light usage of the 'Adults Only' rating, due to stores usually refusing to sell titles bearing the mark, the UK and Europe are far more willing to place a PEGI 18 rating onto a title, as retailers would still stock them. Before the reversal in policy by Microsoft, four-percent of games would be blocked from the store despite being eligible for sale in the US version of the Windows 8 Marketplace, such as Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Ted Dworkin, the director of program management for Windows Store, confirmed the policy change in an MSDN blog post, advising that while the PEGI 18 titles will appear in the store, the store itself would still prevent younger users from accessing them. "Through its integration with Microsoft Family Safety, the Windows Store allows parents to be in control of the kinds of apps their children can install" said Dworkin, pointing towards the Windows 8 App Certification Requirements page that houses the updated rules.