New rating system for apps on Google Play

Today i receive email from Google about new rating systems:

[i]Hello Google Play Developer,

To help consumers make more informed choices about their purchases on Google Play, we’re introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games consistent with industry best practices. This initiative gives you an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to your users and helps improve app engagement by targeting the right audience for your content.

Starting now, you can complete a content rating questionnaire for each of your apps and games to receive the 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. The process is quick, automated and free to developers. In the coming weeks, consumers worldwide will begin to see these new Google Play ratings in their local markets.

On your apps’ questionnaires, make sure to provide accurate responses to help your app be discovered by the right audience. Once you’ve successfully received a rating for your app(s), you’ll only need to retake an app’s questionnaire if an update changes the content of the app in a way that impacts its rating. Learn more about rating your apps

To help maintain your apps’ availability on Google Play, sign in to the Google Play Developer Console and complete the new rating questionnaire for each of your apps. Apps without completed rating questionnaires will be marked as “Unrated.” Unrated apps may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users. In addition, all new apps and updates to existing apps will require a completed questionnaire before they can be published on the Play Store. Your compliance and participation with the new app ratings system is required under the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement. In the future, apps that aren’t rated using the new rating system may be removed from the Play Store.

Thanks for your continued support of Google Play,
Google Play Developer Support

©2015 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

Email preferences: You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Play Developer account.[/i]

Better future guys ? App Submissions On Google Play Now Reviewed By Staff

It stated this feature will be rolling out to the users starting from May, so I assume that is the deadline for rating questionnaire?

Also, how you guys deal with question like does this app contains reference to gamble element, where your app may contains ads for casino apps? Ads are not user-generated content from my understanding.

I would select “no” for “reference to gamble element” if it was shown only in some random ads.
I am wondering what violence means exactly - does cartoon violence means and does hitting or slashing without blood count? Other stores have it much clearer (with cartoon and normal violence separate).

I have another question - the one about the app sharing physical location, what could we answer? Ad networks of course access the physical location to provide related ads, but they are not exactly “other users”.

Does the app share the user’s current physical location to other users?

Once you mark YES for containing violence more questions are asked to determine what kind of violence you mean: i.e: Violence against human or not-human, presence of blood, type of violence, etc.
I felt they asked the right questions for this topic.

On the other hand, does online Multiplayer without any chating, voice or any form of communication count as interaction with another player? I believe what they try to determine is if a player might be exposed to some kind of abuse from another player, which is not possible if there is no form of communication, right?

I have answered NO

Thanks, that’s what I was thinking to do too. Their phrasing is kinda vague.

My game and app have Admob, share image by intent, Google Play game services. I all select not and they email me the RATING CERTIFICATE.

So if yours do nothing more it will be no problem

You may need to reconsider:

Myself haven’t answer any questionnaire yet.

You can’t answer what you not know about (ads). If you afraid, only use admob, I believe admob display ads base on app rating.

AFAIK, you need to filter sensitive content i.e. casino ad manually in admob dashboard. For me, I will rate app for teen and above. IMO, it doesn’t really hurt the downloads by having higher maturity level.

Deleted, double posts.

New Rating systems have semi-manual approval, for me it take from 8 hours to 36 hours to get accept email and certificate link, so don’t worried much about it, just care about your app content when answering questionnaire. Admob from Google, so they must care about policy, that why i said to you before.

If you are using admob, there is an alert message at the top, telling you casino ad is available start from some date, if you don’t want to display, you need to disable it manually.

My app content will be for everyone, but it was just myself wanted to get a higher maturity level. It was just my opinion, having higher maturity level is better than having higher risk of getting update rejection.

This is my game … Check out “Dodgeball Runner” -

did the survey said no to everything , but got a content rating of 3

Anybody tried reaching google about what is their policy for the ratings? Is it going to be mandatory for already published apps also?
If I look at advertising identifier stuff, they didn’t remove the existing apps which never updated their ads sdk and just showing a warning in dev console.

I think a content rating of 3, means 3 years old and up. I also believe it’s the lowest rating you can get (mean all audiences).

I have a multiplayer graffiti app, where everyone draws graffiti on the same wall. Mostly people draw gang signs and try to harass each other and destroy what someone is drawing. The app is completely anonymous but I don’t moderate it at all and people draw all kinds of vulgar stuff. When I answered the questionaire, I answered yes to user shared content, and that it could be violence, vulgarity, any type of content, with no moderation. They still gave me a 3+ rating (all audiences), but with a “Online Interaction or Content shared with others” note on the rating.

I think its good they have the reviews, because now there is a lot of bad apps on the market.