The International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) provides a globally streamlined age classification process for digital products. This process helps ensure users are given consistent access to established and trusted ratings across digital storefronts and platforms.
IARC simplifies the process by which developers obtain age ratings from different regions around the world by reducing it to a single set of questions about product content and interactive elements. These questions are used to automatically determine the appropriate ratings for products at no cost to the developer. IARC provides regional ratings from a number of participating rating authorities along with a generic rating for the rest of the world.
Partners distributing products on the Epic Games Store are welcome and encouraged to obtain IARC ratings and can display that information on their product page in the storefront. Note that some regions, including Australia, Brazil, and Russia, require IARC or region-specific ratings for products distributed in those areas.
When configuring your product for the Epic Games Store, you must either:
- Upload an existing IARC rating obtained for your product on another storefront
- Obtain a new IARC rating for your product
- Opt out of using IARC ratings
To best reach potential users on the storefront, obtaining ratings for your product is highly recommended. If you do not have ratings for your product, you can easily obtain an IARC rating through the Epic Games Store publishing tools. If you choose to opt out of IARC ratings during the initial setup, you can easily opt in at a later time.
Learn more: Manage Regions & Ratings
IARC Ratings FAQ
What is IARC?
The International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) is a ground-breaking rating system administered by many of the world’s game rating authorities that globally streamlines the age classification process for digitally delivered games and apps. IARC enables the consistent accessibility of trusted and locally relevant guidance to help today’s digital consumers make informed decisions. The participating rating authorities collaboratively developed and maintain a single, comprehensive IARC questionnaire that incorporates each rating system’s unique criteria and generates localized ratings for their respective regions. All participating rating authorities monitor rating assignments to ensure accurate ratings, and the system enables the prompt correction of ratings when necessary. Use of IARC is limited to games or apps that are exclusively available via digital distribution.
Are ratings mandatory for games distributed on the Epic Games Store?
No, ratings are optional on the Epic Games Store in most scenarios. Some regions have legal requirements for ratings, and products cannot be distributed in such regions without ratings from the appropriate authorities. Further, ratings are required for products leveraging blockchain or NFT technology in any capacity. To promote an optimal user experience, obtaining ratings for products is strongly recommended as the storefront treats unrated products as having the highest-level maturity rating available in regions where they are distributed.
How much time does it take to obtain a rating from IARC?
Not much time at all! If your product has minimal content pertinent to ratings, the IARC submission process can take less than 5 minutes. For products with more pertinent content, the IARC questionnaire can take a little longer to complete, about 10-15 minutes. In both cases, no additional materials are required from participating rating authorities, and partners receive confirmation of their rating assignments immediately upon completion of the questionnaire.
If I receive an IARC rating for the Epic Games Store, can I use it on other storefronts?
Yes. In most cases, ratings obtained through the IARC rating system can be transferred to other storefronts that have deployed IARC using the IARC certificate ID, assuming no pertinent content or features have been added or removed from the game. To learn more, review the current list of participating storefronts.
How much does it cost to use IARC?
IARC ratings are available to partners at no cost. This is possible due to the Epic Games Store acquiring a license from IARC for this service.
What happens if questions are answered incorrectly, whether inadvertently or deliberately, and a product is given a rating that does not accurately represent game content?
The IARC rating system includes a process in which participating rating authorities monitor ratings to ensure accuracy. When necessary, this system also facilitates the prompt correction of ratings on the Epic Games Store. In the event that an IARC–assigned rating is corrected for a product, an email notification is sent to the partner, and the new rating information is automatically updated on the storefront.
How do I know if an IARC-assigned rating has been changed?
IARC notifies partners of any rating changes through your provided contact email. Additionally, the rating displayed on your product page in the storefront is automatically updated.
What can I do if I disagree with my product’s assigned rating?
Before finalizing your IARC rating, you have an opportunity to review the ratings assigned to your product following the completion of the questionnaire. If you have concerns with a pending rating, you can click Back on the rating overview page to review your answers and correct any potential errors on the questionnaire.
You can also submit a Rating Check Request if you have concerns about a finalized rating. To do so, locate the associated link in the official rating certificate email sent to you upon release of your product. Access this link, select the contested rating, and provide a brief explanation of why you believe the rating should be changed. In response to the Rating Check Request, IARC may contact you to ask for supporting evidence, such as video clips or a build of your product.
What if my product has already been rated by one of the participating rating authorities through traditional (non-IARC) means?
If you obtained a qualifying traditional rating for your product, you can use that rating information through the traditional rating process. If you have additional questions, contact IARC for assistance.
What is the impact and benefit that IARC can have for partners distributing products in multiple regions?
The IARC rating system streamlines the process by which developers obtain age and content ratings by having them complete a questionnaire. This questionnaire was created based on the factors that each participating rating authority considers when assigning ratings. These factors are then weighed by each rating authority so that upon completing the questionnaire, it instantly produces appropriate age ratings for each region. The result is a revolutionary solution that enables developers to have their product simultaneously rated for several territories throughout the world while preserving each area’s nuanced local standards and eliminating the cost of rating fees. This is a key reason why the Epic Games Store supports this initiative as it makes developing and releasing products easier, more efficient, and more affordable worldwide.