Over 17,700 productions have been submitted to the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) since 1994. The thirteenth year of operation was the fourth year since the new child protection legislation came into force.
2607 classification procedures were registered at the USK in the year 2006, slightly fewer than in the previous year (2686). The transition to the next-generation consoles took place less rapidly than expected. The proportion of PC-based games classified (PC, PC/ Macintosh-Hybrid, Macintosh-PC) fell compared to the previous year: 1277 (2006), 1310 (2005). The number of console games examined also declined slightly: 1115 (2006) compared to 1197 (2005).
The number of PlayStation 2 titles fell from 438 (2005) to 31 (2006). Only 65 and 28 Xbox and GameCube titles respectively were classified. After making a first appearance in the previous year, Sony PSP titles achieved second position as 173 games were submitted (compared to 85 in 2005). Nintendo DS also expanded its range. 166 games were classified (compared to 105 in 2005). 149 Microsoft XBOX 360 titles were classified (previous year 48). 101 GameBoy Advance games were submitted (previous year 156). PS3 made its first appearance at USK classifications, although only 14 titles were examined. Wii (88) and Xbox 360 games also included games for Virtual Console and Marketplace.
Arcade tradition games ( Beat’em Up, Shoot’em Up, games of skill, Racers) were once again most frequently submitted: 508 (2006) compared to 556 (2005). Game collections once again occupied second position with 303 titles in 303 (363 in the previous year). Third place went to sports games with 208 titles (compared to 216 games in the previous year). 4th place was occupied by Shooter games with 157 titles (First-person, 3rd person, tactical, online/LAN). In 2005, 219 Shooter games had been classified, putting the genre in third position. Position 5 went to simulations (non-military and military) with 130 titles, whereas 6th position was occupied by Jump‘n Run with 129 games classified.
These were followed by board and card games (113), genre mix (110), Role-playing games (106) and brain teasers (101). Strategy games (96) and action-adventure games (77) were no longer in the top 10 of genres submitted to the USK for classification.
58.4 percent of all games submitted for classification were approved for children aged under 12. The decision “rating refusedpursuant to Art.14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act, JuSchG” has been in force since 1 April 2003. This classification was given 46 times in 2006 alone (40 times in 2005). USK Managing Director Dr. Spieler commented upon the 2006 USK Annual Report as follows. “In the field of legally binding decisions against issuing a classification for young persons aged under 18, the USK continues to show that it operates the strictest rating system both in Europe and worldwide.”