ESRB Rating Category Breakdown 2007  (Source:
94 percent of videogames are certified for youngsters

2007 was the biggest year yet for videogames, as the ESRB assigned ratings to 1,563 games, most of which contained content suitable for even the youngest gamers. Even with the gaming market growing out of its “just for kids” demographic and image, games rated “M” for mature are on the decline.

According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), games rated M accounted for only 6 percent of all release in 2007. In 2006, 8 percent of games were rated M, which was also a decline from the 12 percent in 2005.

In contrast, games rated “E” for everyone saw the largest increase, account for nearly 60 percent of all games rated in 2007. The “E10+” for everyone 10 and older accounted for 15 percent, and “T” for teens 13+ claimed 20 percent.

According to the ESRB, the decline in M rated games and growth of E rated games “is due in part to the recent influx of casual games for the PC, handheld devices and online arcades,” as noted by Joystiq.

“This past holiday season was the biggest ever for video games, contributing to record-breaking sales in 2007 of nearly $19 billion in the U.S. alone,” wrote ESRB president Patricia Vance. “And although we tend to hear from the media most about the more controversial Mature-rated games, the reality is that 8.5 out of every 10 games sold last year were rated as appropriate for ages 13 or younger ... And, as you'll see [in the chart], 94 percent of the ratings we assigned were for games appropriate for ages 13 or younger.”

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