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Australia's new age ratings program sees hundreds of games banned

Australia's new age ratings program sees hundreds of games banned

June 30, 2015 | By Alex Wawro

Heads up, developers: if the International Age Ratings Coalition refuses to classify your game, it may be banned from sale in Australia starting tomorrow.

That's when the Australian government will formally begin participating in a year-long pilot program that, according to an ABC News report, will see sales of games the IARC refuses to classify blocked on the IARC's participating storefronts -- currently, Google Play and the Firefox Marketplace -- inside the country. 

Thus, this is chiefly noteworthy for Android game makers -- Apple has its own app review process -- and it's well in line with Google's decision back in March to have humans age-rate and review Google Play app submissions.

In May Google began requiring all new app submissions to fill out an age rating questionnaire that would automatically generate an age rating in accord with IARC guidelines, but if you published your game before then you may have to manually log into Google's Developer Console and complete the questionnaire to get your rating.

Since March Australia's Classifications Board has been retroactively classifying games in accordance with IARC standards and, according to its online ratings database, at least 349 games have been refused classification so far. For more information on the process and how to appeal a rating, check out the IARC's developer portal.

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