Google has today announced that it is introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. The company says it will also start manually reviewing submitted apps.
According to the company, different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for different audiences, this announcement it says will help developers better label their apps for the right audience.
‘’Consistent with industry best practices, this change will give developers an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to their users and help improve app discovery and engagement by letting people choose content that is right for them.’’ Google said.
Developers will now have to complete a content rating questionnaire for each of their apps and games to receive objective content ratings.
Google Play’s new rating system includes official ratings from the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and its participating bodies, including the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), Australian Classification Board, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) and Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd). Territories not covered by a specific ratings authority will display an age-based, generic rating.
This new process Google says involves a team of experts who are responsible for identifying violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle.
To help maintain their apps’ availability on Google Play, users will have to sign in to the Developer Console and complete the new rating questionnaire for each of their apps. Apps without a completed rating questionnaire will be marked as “Unrated” and may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users. Starting in May, all new apps and updates to existing apps will require a completed questionnaire before they can be published on Google Play.
The system according to Google has been rolled out to provide more transparency to developers,
‘’We have also rolled out improvements to the way we handle publishing status. Developers now have more insight into why apps are rejected or suspended, and they can easily fix and resubmit their apps for minor policy violations’’
Should your app be rejected, Google will also now offer more information as to why, as well as how the issue can be easily addressed.