The Entertainment Software Rating Board was established in 1994 to assign ratings to video games. With the rise in popularity of mobile applications on smartphones, they are set to expand the coverage of its rating system.
CTIA, the international organization that oversees the wireless communication industry, announced that it has partnered with the ESRB to introduce a content rating system for mobile apps. The group refers to the new plan as a "mobile application rating system," suggesting it will reach beyond the realm of games.
The Apple App Store and Google Android Marketplace currently feature user-based rating systems. Apple employs a numerical rating system (4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+), while the Android Marketplace uses a text-based system (Everyone, Low maturity, Medium maturity, and High maturity). Although it is unclear how the ESRB's new system will be integrated into existing stores, it could provide a more universal scale.