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evildead2099
03-15-2011, 11:01 PM
The ESRB (which stands for "The Entertainment Software Rating Board") rates video games in North America. It was established by the IDSA (The Interactive Digital Software Association), and is now known as the ESA (The Entertainment Software Association).

I've read that several major game developers, such as Vivendi Universal and id Software, recently left the IDSA/ESA. Does that mean that their post-ESA departure games will no longer be rated through the ESRB? Will their games be rated at all anymore?

Kitsune Sniper
03-15-2011, 11:14 PM
They're still rated via the ESRB. They HAVE to be rated because no brick and mortar retailer will bother stocking them without a rating.

Also, the left like three years ago. :P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Entertainment_Expo#Company_breakaways

evildead2099
03-15-2011, 11:25 PM
They're still rated via the ESRB. They HAVE to be rated because no brick and mortar retailer will bother stocking them without a rating.

Is it the ESRB that still rates them? If so, why does the ESRB bother cooperating with developers which no longer belong to the IDSA/ESA and no longer contribute to through membership fees?


the left like three years ago. :P

That may be, but I just found out about a mass exodus of game developers leaving the association, and I want to know what's going on. I don't play modern video games, as I am a retrogamer, but I still like to know what's going on in the industry.

Kitsune Sniper
03-15-2011, 11:48 PM
Is it the ESRB that still rates them? If so, why does the ESRB bother cooperating with developers which no longer belong to the IDSA/ESA and no longer contribute to through membership fees?

You can have your game rated by the ESRB as long as you pay them a fee to do so. A lot of small developers have their games rated and aren't members of the IDSA / ESA.

evildead2099
03-15-2011, 11:56 PM
You can have your game rated by the ESRB as long as you pay them a fee to do so. A lot of small developers have their games rated and aren't members of the IDSA / ESA.

Ah. So why are developers paying fees but rejecting membership within the IDSA/ESA? I realize that developers feel pressured to have games rated by the ESRB so retailers feel comfortable selling their games, but why reject membership with the IDSA/ESA? Is there a better alternative to it, or are defecting developers trying to start an alternative?

j_factor
03-16-2011, 01:13 AM
The ESRB is not all that the ESA does. I'm pretty sure Vivendi left over disagreements about E3, not the ESRB.

G-Boobie
03-16-2011, 01:30 AM
Ah. So why are developers paying fees but rejecting membership within the IDSA/ESA? I realize that developers feel pressured to have games rated by the ESRB so retailers feel comfortable selling their games, but why reject membership with the IDSA/ESA? Is there a better alternative to it, or are defecting developers trying to start an alternative?

From what I understand, membership fees for the IDSA/ESA were the sticking point for the companies that left. Paying to have your game rated is essential to being distributed through Walmart, Gamestop, and so on, but you don't have to be a member to do that, and if I remember correctly, you pay for ratings whether you're a member or not. It's just bottom line style business politics.

RCM
03-16-2011, 02:02 PM
A few high profile publishers did leave a couple years ago, but ESA has gained new ones since.

Membership in ESA has nothing to do with getting a game rated by ESRB. While ESRB ratings are completely optional (just look at all the unrated PC and Mobile games), Sony, MS and Nintendo require all games on their game platforms to be rated and big retailers refuse to sell software without a rating. They (hardware manufacturers/retailers) also won't allow AO games on their platforms or in stores, which is why you don't see it often.

This isn't just the rule for North America either as other territories (UK, Japan etc.) have similar setups.

You gotta calm down, brother! These questions may have been worth asking three years ago, but everything is OK now! I'd be much more worried about the decision SCOTUS should be making in the coming weeks or months.

evildead2099
03-16-2011, 10:05 PM
Alright guys, thanks for the help. I contacted both the ESRB and the ESA to get the story 'straight from the horse's mouth,' but have yet to hear back from either entity.