Apple updates App Store Age Ratings in Australia and South Korea

Apple today announced upcoming changes to the App Store age rating system in Australia and South Korea.

App Store
App Store

Apple today announced upcoming changes to the App Store age rating system in Australia and South Korea. These updates aim to provide users with clearer information about the content and potential risks associated with mobile applications.

Apple emphasizes its commitment to user safety, particularly for children. These updates address growing concerns about loot boxes and simulated gambling mechanics within mobile games.

Loot Boxes and Age Ratings

  • Developers will now be required to disclose the presence of loot boxes within their apps submitted to the App Store.
  • In Australia, games offering loot boxes will automatically receive a regional age rating of 15+.
  • The presence of frequent or intense simulated gambling mechanics in any category will trigger an 18+ regional age rating in Australia.

Regional Age Ratings in South Korea

  • South Korea will implement a new regional age rating system alongside existing global Apple age ratings.
  • The specific regional rating assigned will depend on the app category and the presence of simulated gambling mechanics.
    • Apps and games with global ratings of 4+ or 9+ will receive a KR-All regional rating.
    • Apps and games with a global rating of 12+ will receive a KR-12 regional rating. Certain apps within this group may be subject to further review by the South Korean Games Ratings and Administration Committee (GRAC) and potentially receive a KR-15 rating.
    • Apps deemed inappropriate for users under 18 by the GRAC will receive a KR-18 rating, indicated by text instead of a pictogram.

These changes require developers to accurately disclose loot box mechanics within their apps during the App Store submission process. Developers in Australia and South Korea should familiarize themselves with the new regional age rating systems to ensure their apps are appropriately categorized.

The effectiveness of these updates will depend on developer compliance and user awareness. As regulatory landscapes evolve, Apple and other app store platforms will likely continue to refine rating systems to provide users with a clear and comprehensive understanding of app content.

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