Just 5 Percent of Games Were Rated M Last Year, Says ESRB

Illustration for article titled Just 5 Percent of Games Were Rated M Last Year, Says ESRB

Just five percent of all games rated by the ESRB and published in 2010 were classified as M, a marginal decline from 2009 when they accounted for 6 percent, the board said in a news release today.


The smallest portion of the 1,638 ratings the ESRB doled out last year belongs to EC which, safe to say, few reading this site ever play. Early Childhood got 1 percent of the ratings. E accounts for 55 percent, followed by T at 21 percent and E10+ at 18 percent.

Not in this tally, of course, is the dreaded AO, which renders a title effectively unpublishable in North America. Just 24 games have been rated AO in the 17 year history of the classification, one of the original five ratings. The most recent AO-rated game was Manhunt 2 for the PC. Just two console games, one for the obscure CD-i, have gotten the mark.


5% of games in 2010 rated M - ESRB [GameSpot. Chart via Gamespot]

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5% of 1638 = 82 games. Assuming each SKU counts as a separate game (which it does) and just counting off GameRankings.com, 50-60 M rated titles came out last year w/ a score greater than 70 with most of them higher than 80. What this means is that while M rated games may account for a low % of total games coming out...pretty much every one of those titles is either worth playing by us or they're built with our attention in mind. In other words, almost all the M rated games released are going to at the very least be in our peripheral at some point if not a day 1 purchase whereas the vast majority of the games in all the other categories will rarely/never be mentioned at all unless they're built by a studio with a pedigree or the game is a diamond in the rough that was lucky enough to be discovered.