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Cost of ESRB


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#1 Doctor J   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:18 PM

Does anyone know how much it costs to obtain an ESRB rating?

Sponsor:

#2 Ravuya   Moderators   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:40 AM

The business forum probably knows, so that's where this is headed.

#3 Josh Petrie   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3099

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:40 AM

http://www.esrb.org/

They only rate titles from "organizations that develop and/or publish computer and/or video games." If you qualify (according to their standards, not yours), sign up and you will be able to access that information.

You could, alternatively, contact them and ask.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9095

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:14 AM

Doc wrote:
> Does anyone know how much it costs to obtain an ESRB rating?

Yes, of course!

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19633

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 06:45 AM

That kind of question belongs in the bucket:

If you are concerned about how much it costs, you aren't in the market.

The organizations (not individuals) who pay for the ratings are already paying tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and facilities, and hundreds of thousands -- or even millions -- on staffing. Not to mention a small fortune for publishing, marketing, distribution, and other costs.


#6 Ozymandias42   Members   -  Reputation: 181

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 07:32 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if it was maybe $3000. Plus you'd need to record a video of your game. Plus you'd need to fill out a particularly annoying form where you check boxes to indicate whether your videogame features the manufacturing of guns.

It's completely not worth it unless you're trying to get a boxed version of your game into Wal-Mart, which isn't going to happen if the ESRB is the expensive step.

#7 Doctor J   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 08:54 AM

I would expect the cost to be in the range of 1 to 10 thousand. I was wondering if anyone here could give a more accurate estimate. If not - please don't bother to reply.

#8 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9095

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:40 AM

Doc wrote:

>I would expect the cost to be in the range of 1 to 10 thousand. I was wondering if anyone here could give a more accurate estimate.

Yes. Someone here could.

>If not - please don't bother to reply.

Don't bother asking bad questions! You have not yet asked how much ESRB ratings cost. You only asked first, "Does anyone know how much it costs." You got an answer - yes. The ESRB knows how much it costs, and you could simply ask them. Now you've only asked, "I was wondering if anyone here could give a more accurate estimate." The answer to that is also yes.

Besides, sometimes the best answer is gotten by sharing more information with those of whom you're asking a question. Why do you want to know how much an ESRB rating costs? Are you writing a thesis on the game industry for college or something? Or do you have a game and you're planning to publish it yourself? And why can't you simply contact the ESRB and ask this yourself, why do you need to get this information from game developers instead?

Also, the answer to your question (when you finally get around to asking it) varies depending on the submitter. Is the submitter going to request rush handling? Is the submitter going to provide videotape of complete gameplay? (Or will the submitter want the ESRB to make the videotape?)


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#9 Doctor J   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:33 PM

Moderator - please feel free to lock this topic lest it descend to petty insults, etc.

#10 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9095

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:32 PM

Doc appeals to higher powers:
>Moderator - please feel free to lock this topic lest it descend to petty insults, etc.

:D That's almost as good as your previous line, "If not - please don't bother to reply." Your attempts to stifle us are most revealing of your character.

Look, doc. We've given you the straight poop, if you'd just get over yourself and read what we've said. If you don't wanna tell us why you need to know what the ESRB process costs, and you don't wanna ask the ESRB themselves, then fine. But it's not nice to try to curtail our freedom to express ourselves.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#11 I_Smell_Tuna   Members   -  Reputation: 96

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 04:30 PM

I concur. Just get it straight from the horses mouth. I havn't enquired about ESRB ratings but you can easily get tons of information from companies by just asking. I've developed an advertising budget by just asking game websites and magazines what kind of advertising packages they offer, which is something you would think would be hard to get a hold of. Just remember there are tons of people out there trying to make sales so they can keep their job, they'll probably be more than happy to hand out information like candy. Just act professional and follow up on your requests. I've even had some conference calls with magazine companies about their advertising options, I've sat on the phone with one company for about two hours just listening to them jibber jabber numbers to me, it's been really insightful doing that kind of research.

#12 Doctor J   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:04 PM

If anyone is actually interested... the fee is $2500 (according to folks at another site.)

I have not posted at GameDev for quite a while. Some of the posts in this thread were surprisingly immature. Strange. I had visited this site in the past to help others and occasionally ask for help. I do not recall seeing this sort of behavior before.

#13 I_Smell_Tuna   Members   -  Reputation: 96

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:43 PM

Yeah, the knowledgable like being difficult at times. They tend to drag stuff out even though they know exactly what you want.

#14 M2tM   Members   -  Reputation: 948

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 09:45 PM

Then the estimate already provided in this thread was fairly good.

#15 Mindwedge   Members   -  Reputation: 99

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:31 PM

The latest on this subject from Wikipedia:

To obtain a rating for a game, a publisher sends the ESRB videotaped footage of the most graphic and extreme content found in the game. The publisher also fills out a questionnaire describing the game's content and pays a fee based on the game's development cost:[6]
  • $800 fee for development costs under $250,000
  • $4,000 fee for development costs over $250,000
On its website, the ESRB states that three trained raters, working independently, watch the footage and recommend a rating. If all raters agree on the rating, content descriptors are added and the ESRB notifies the publisher of its decision. If there is no consensus, additional raters review the footage and materials, or the majority opinion rules. After the rating is agreed upon, the ESRB in-house personnel review the footage and all materials to ensure that all information is accurate and a certificate is sent to the publisher. However, that decision is not final. If the publisher wishes, they may edit the game and resubmit the footage and questionnaire in order to achieve a lower rating, or appeal the information to a committee made up of entertainment software industry representatives. If this is the case, the process begins anew.
When the game is ready for release, the publisher sends copies of the final version of the game to the ESRB. The game packaging is reviewed, and the ESRB says that its in-house personnel randomly play games to ensure that all the information provided during the rating process was complete and accurate. Penalties may apply to the publisher if it is eventually found, either through the in-house personnel's playing or consumer comments that the game's content is more extreme than the publisher stated in its application.
The identities of the ESRB raters are kept confidential and selected randomly from a pool of full-time ESRB employees who live in the New York City area. According to an ESRB introductory brochure from 1994: "The raters represent a wide range of backgrounds, races, and ages and have no ties to the interactive entertainment industry. Raters include retired school principals, parents, professionals, and other individuals from all walks of life." Raters are supposed to review games as if they were the customer and receiving their first glance at the game. They are then required to take testing before becoming ESRB raters.[7]

#16 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9095

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:37 PM

This thread was six years old. And wow, how I talked back then (I wasn't a moderator then).
But really now -- a six-year necro??
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#17 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2177

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:03 PM

Wait a minute!  I'm going to pull a 6-years-in-the-past Tom here:

The latest on this subject from Wikipedia:

To obtain a rating for a game, a publisher sends the ESRB videotaped footage of the most graphic and extreme content found in the game. The publisher also fills out a questionnaire describing the game's content and pays a fee based on the game's development cost:

  • $800 fee for development costs under $250,000
  • $4,000 fee for development costs over $250,000


What about development costs EQUAL to $250,000?




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