5% of games in 2010 rated M - ESRB

Classification board's annual survey shows ratings breakdown of 55 percent E for Everyone, 18 percent Everyone 10+, 21 percent Teen, and 1 percent Early Childhood.

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The Entertainment Software Rating Board--the organization that assigns ratings to games--has released its annual classification breakdown, revealing that M-rated games represent just 5 percent of software rated in 2010.

M-rated games are in the minority.

Further, M-rated games, which occasionally stir up controversy, actually shrunk year-over-year as a percentage of all games released. Last year, the ESRB slapped an M rating on 6 percent of the games it rated.

The pie chart breakdown (pictured) represents every game (1,638 in all) the ESRB rated in 2010 and its respective ratings classification. The most prevalent classification was an E for Everyone rating, which was assigned to 55 percent of games in 2010. T-for-Teen games followed with 21 percent of total games, and Everyone 10+ came in with 18 percent of the ratings.

EC (Early Childhood) games represented the smallest slice of the pie, coming in at just 1 percent.

Discussion

216 comments
gbrading
gbrading moderator

These are the kind of statistics which need to be shared. With so many decrying games as being purely violent, M-rated products, is good to see that the vast majority actually are not.

Drebo
Drebo

Another useless piece of info from the ERSB. How about showing us: $ made on 6% of M-rated games compared to $ made from the other percentages of rated games. Or units sold between the ratings.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

It isn't quantity but quality that matter though. Someone do this compare: What is the average ranking for each type? (exclude games that were so niche to not even get a score). I bet they find that a lot of the games people want (or the industry says) to play are M, even if the total release is only 5%. Imagine if the good games were T or E instead of M. Would that increase the market for these 'good' games?

franzito
franzito

Is this a good thing or just for comparison?

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

M-rated games are clearly taking over North America and congress needs to get involved or this is just a myth to take advantage of dumb voters.

-TheWormsMan-
-TheWormsMan-

Doesn't matter so long what I'm playing is actually any good to be honest.

Darth_SupleX
Darth_SupleX

@Raxyman LMAO You mean just ONE title will count as HUNDREDS? Haha this chart is not about sold copies, is about number of titles.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Does anyone really care how many are rated M? Who here honestly looks at a game and goes "oooooooh I have to buy it, because it's an M rating"?

Units420
Units420

Just curious as to what the point of this is? Oh wait, to start up more stupid hardcore vs. casual BS......

Raxyman
Raxyman

When Duke Nukem Forever be realeses that percentual will grow to 50% just because of him. XD

bandtnt
bandtnt

I like that game developers deal with grown ups as grown ups and there is still lots of games for kids.

salient_vassal
salient_vassal

By -Canas- Posted Mar 17, 2011 1:24 am GMT "I think we can all agree there aren't enough boobs in video games." This man is a visionary.

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

u oldman still playing games?

AirPortugall
AirPortugall

I never really thought about the percentage of M games but now that I do, it's kind of obvious that the amount of them are going down. I'm not happy about it but with the Wii, Kinect and the Move being "the new thing" companies are making more "kids" games now.

pimpofdoom
pimpofdoom

I have never seen an EC rating or an AO rating with my own eyes. Hard to believe that M only has 4 percent more then EC.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

It's a shame that M-rated games are on the decrease, goes to show that developers are possibly holding back a little. It's sad though because no matter what rating a game has the average parent pays no attention to it when buying it for their child. Classifications only really act as an ass-saver nowadays so companies can say "Well it does say M on the box".. I was playing GTA 1 back when it was released in 1997 and I was 10 years old. Games shouldn't be dubbed down for child-friendly audiences, parents should get stricter. But only if a game genuinly presents itself as a gory game.. GTA1 was a top down cartoon for pete's sake so my parents weren't assed :p

Cillerboy
Cillerboy

ok so 5% of games r M but how much of the total sales do M games make up? that'd wud be interesting.

mentalmetal
mentalmetal

still whats the rating of the fastest selling piece of entertainment ever?

Mikethechimp
Mikethechimp

GameSpot users aren't really intelligent enough to draw useful conclusions. They always jump the gun and use any news story such as this to support their predisposed opinion, what ever it may be.

Animatronic64
Animatronic64

Most of my games are M-rated, and to me, it seems like the best games are M-rated. Granted, I still have the great E and T rated titles such as Zelda and Final Fantasy, but the M still dominates my collection. And no, I don't believe that M rating makes the game good or anything like that, because you can do an amazing E or T game just as easily. Plus, I've seen some pretty horrible M-rated games. But, I guess that's just the way things work out; a lot of the great developers out there have a preference for mature content in their games. Sometimes, though, I wish to see more E and T titles worth playing (excessive violence can get tiring).

Zloth2
Zloth2

@MaddogQ80, Galactic Civlizations 2 is a great game that's rated E. How the Hades a 10 year old is supposed to have the patience to play a game like that I don't know, but they are allowed. Hmmm, in movies the XXX pseudo-rating is the dirtiest there is. In gaming, the 4X genre gets rated E for everyone.

Ep1ph0n
Ep1ph0n

Easy to accomplish when the other 95% is Wii shovelware.

MaddogQ80
MaddogQ80

the only good e games are sports games

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

so sad for Australia! lmao!

IndianaPwns39
IndianaPwns39

I wonder what percent of my game library is M - Rated. I'll do PS3 only. I have 66 games in total, 46 are M. 69.69% of my games are M rated, just like the percent number :P

cheamo
cheamo

It would be more interesting to see the percentages as a function of average number of sales or average revenue.

sonic-boom
sonic-boom

Shovelware waters everything down with E.

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

I'm sure the reason why the ESRB had assigned so many E ratings is because of the mass number of causal and shovelware titles that are submitted. Just look at the Wii and DS; they're flooded with them. Also it looks like for every M-rated title submitted, like Mass Effect 2, there will be 11x the amount of E-rated games like Just Dance 2. When you look at it logically it does make sense. (And no this is NOT a breakdown of market share for rated games, as some seem to think...)

isshiah
isshiah

those ratings don't matter here in australia...our classification uses 20 year old rules to classify modern content. which ends up in quite a few games getting banned. like mortal kombat.

Germandude2
Germandude2

EC is still an actual rating? lol whats next is KA (kids/adults) coming back?

Nick_2266
Nick_2266

i thought there'd be a lot more M games, but i guess most M games are actually good games and advertised heavily, while the E games are more like Barbie Horse Adventure games which i never hear of anyway.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

M is the new R. when was the last time you saw an R rated movie? thats why many horror remakes come back and flop. they are too busy trying to get the coveted pg-13 audience because that will be easier to market, and get more tv time if a broadcast network picks em up. when it comes to t games to m, it would be easier for a 13 year old to go in and get a game than it would for an m rated game because the parent would "have to monitor the child's gaming habits". t rated games have a much wider install base... if that makes sense. WHICH SUCKS!

Mr_Ditters
Mr_Ditters

A more interesting stat would be of that 5% how many are children. Judging from the high pitched squeeky foul mouthed voices in COD its probably very high.

deth420
deth420

i couldnt figure out why i play less games now....there it is!

-Canas-
-Canas-

I think we can all agree there aren't enough boobs in video games.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

I thought it was at least 10%. That is very interesting.

jecht_35
jecht_35

there are plenty of great T rated and lower games arkham asylum, uncharted, infamous, little big planet, braid, ratchet and clank and i'm sure theres plenty more, definetly a lot of great M title games to but a game doesen't always have to be mature to be great.

JoSilver
JoSilver

When you think about all the games through out history that most people would claim to be the best games ever made a majority of them (even if not rated) are E rated or E rating equivalent. However I do agree with people who expected this number to be higher but anyone who shuns the game industry for the low number of M-rated games need to pick up more T - E Titles (Maybe EC if your feeling adventurous) and try something different. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't a majority of M-rated games these days First Person Shooters.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@MJ12-Conspiracy, My thoughts exactly. I don't necessarily pick a game b/c it's 'M' rated I pick it based on the preference of gameplay, story, or genre I happen to like to play. And as someone else pointed out on here, ironically most of the games that are 'M' or 'T' rated tend to fall into certain genres than others (i.e. action/adventure or FPS mostly having these 2)--which in turn, are the genres I love playing the most (excluding FPS). Ex.: Game I just bought yesterday? Yakuza 4. Rating? 'Mature'. And most 'Beat 'em up' type genre games nowadays are generally either 'T' or 'M' rated.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

yeah now make a new graph and take out all the shovelware

InfectX
InfectX

and only 95% of the games that are any good...

JoSilver
JoSilver

I don't really see the big deal... It's pretty much always been this way hasn't it. I mean making a bloody or obscene games is the choice of the developers isn't it? Not every game needs buckets of blood to be good.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

Buy Killzone 3, Demon's Souls and Heavy Rain those are a few of the must have gems to play that are M rated.

BAD-C0MPANY
BAD-C0MPANY

This still doesn't matter. How about we do one for games that actually matter, sell, and are good. I think Mature games would be in the majority then. This story is misleading because pretty much everything on the Wii is E-rated shovelware crap that no one cares about. Not to forget to mention over-rated and over 9,000 Mario games that have been the same since the start and are a waste of money. It's also still funny that although M is supposedly a minority it dominates the sales anyways. This further provides support for my point.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

Of course this pie chart is correct. Think about all the half assed Wii and DS titles out there.