Epic Games will be introducing age ratings to all Fortnite experiences starting later this year. The new system will go into effect on November 14th and will include “all first and third party playable content” in the game, which basically means everything built in the Creative mode. The ratings will be powered by the International Age Rating Coalition, which works with the likes of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
When a creator is ready to publish their island to Fortnite, they will fill out the IARC content rating questionnaire before they submit their island to be published and reviewed by Epic moderators. When the questionnaire is complete, creators will receive an age-based IARC rating for the content of their island along with region-specific ratings from IARC-participating rating authorities. These ratings will automatically be applied and prominently displayed prior to access.
Content sensitivities vary by region and IARC’s scalable, global solution provides parents and players with trusted guidance from ESRB (North America), PEGI (Europe), ACB (Australia), USK (Germany), ClassInd (Brazil), and more depending on where they live. Participating rating authorities may modify one or more of the ratings assigned based on their own review of the experience once it’s been published.
Epic says that the questionnaires will be available to creators starting October 16th and that any unrated experience will be delisted on the November 14th deadline. The company calls this move “a critical step toward building a metaverse that is safe and fun for everyone,” referring to the nebulous virtual world concept that has been a big focus for tech companies, including the Fortnite developer.
The news comes during a particularly tumultuous time for Epic, which announced last week that it was cutting roughly 16 percent of its workforce (which includes spinning off its child-safety focused subsidiary SuperAwesome as an independent company).