Nintendo eShop IARC purchases now available to consumers in Japan

Nintendo will now allow Japanese consumers to purchase IARC-rated titles through the Nintendo eShop. However, this will only extend to digital downloads; physical releases will still need to get a CERO rating. [Thanks, Game Watch and Automaton!]

Developers wishing to offer titles through the Nintendo eShop will no longer be required to obtain a CERO rating for digital releases. There are still a few stipulations to this, however. Developers planning to release adult-rated games will still need to get a CERO rating, even for digital releases.

The International Age Rating Coalition (or IARC) is an initiative of members of the ESRB, PEGI, and USK, to name a few, that have streamlined the process of acquiring content ratings for games. Benchmark exams through IARC are free, which means it can help independent developers reduce some of their development costs for digital-only releases.

Since CERO is not part of IARC, developers should submit their product for review separately. Nintendo isn’t the only developer allowing IARC-rated titles to reach their digital storefronts. Microsoft is also part of this initiative. Games released digitally with IARC ratings through Microsoft storefronts are available for purchase without the CERO rating.

In an article by Automaton Media, the breakdown of this new initiative indicates that Nintendo changed its policy regarding the publication of IARC-rated games on the Nintendo eShop in September.

In late September, Nintendo released a statement reminding users to charge their Nintendo Switch once every six months.

Timothy C. Mayo