Ratings board certification is an aspect of the Xbox Live Indie Games mess from the current generation that I hadn’t considered until now. Andrew Groen for the PA Report:
“Legally, Microsoft couldn’t promote [Xbox Live Indie Games] due to the fact that they were not certified by the ESRB, PEGI, or other ratings board, therefore it was in the hands of the developers,” said Dave Voyles, co-organizer of the Xbox Live Indie Games Summer Uprising in 2011 and Uprising 3 in 2012. “We saw an open opportunity, took it, and I think it worked out pretty well for everyone involved.”
If there is a kernel of truth to this, it would go a long way towards explaining at least some of the policies and how they affect indie developers. And those same indie developers should be really grateful that Steam carries them at all without a ratings board certification.
(Greenlight’s messed-up-edness is something for a different post entirely. So is the ESRB as a stupid-yet-useful arm of the industry cartel.)