An email recently went out to Stadians this past week that detailed a change in one of its titles. City Legends – The Curse of the Crimson Shadow CE changed its ESRB rating from Everyone 10+ to Teen. Normally, such an alteration probably would have gone under the radar, but because Google is dedicated to making Stadia a place for families to play together, and because this game was rated for ten year olds, the company decided to inform parents so that they could continue to protect their little ones.
Now, I don’t recall this ever coming through my inbox for PlayStation games or anything I’ve played elsewhere, and it immediately caught my eye. It’s a refreshing approach to gaming for families, and while I’m sure other companies probably do this on some level, Google can and does take it a step further thanks to its commitments and its cloud technology.
Thanks to the already implemented parental controls, anyone who was previously playing City Legends who is not a teenager will now be cut off from accessing the game. This means that it may no longer show up in their library, even if the title is being shared with Family Sharing.
“Rating changes are extraordinarily rare, but if ever one does occur, ESRB recognizes that parents must be made aware of the change as quickly as possible so they are certain to have the most current and accurate information.”ESRB.org
I’m not about to give Google all of the credit and kudos for this though as the ESRB requires parents to be made aware of changes to a rating as soon as possible so they can make informed decisions for the developing minds of their children. The fact that rating changes almost never occur is also probably why I haven’t seen this before, but Stadia’s family dashboard and step-by-step help center certainly add to my admiration because others have failed to provide such tools or to make them this easy to use.
The only other company that I can think of that values families as much as Google seems to is , well, you guessed it – Nintendo! The family-centric company actually has a complete parental controls app for Switch that feels very much in the same vein as Google Family Link and provides much of the same functionality.