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Microsoft finally lifts Windows Store 18-rated games ban

Windows 8 maker "expanding commitment" to gaming.

Microsoft has finally lifted its ban on 18-rated games such as Dishonored, Mass Effect 3 and Assassin's Creed 3 within the Windows Store.

The Windows 8 maker announced its controversial decision to not sell PEGI 18-rated titles back in October, but soon announced it had rethought the matter.

In a blog entitled "expanding our commitment to Windows Store games", Microsoft has now set out its new policy welcoming 18-rated content.

"Windows has long been a favourite platform for games of all types, and age rating support for PEGI 18 is another step forward in a rich tradition of supporting gaming on Windows," wrote Windows Store exec Ted Dworkin.

"In welcoming PEGI 18 games into the Store, we again reinforce two principles - flexibility and confidence - fundamental to the Windows Store. We recognise that people have come to expect and appreciate rich gaming experiences on Windows and this includes games rated PEGI 18."

He's happy.

Upcoming 18-rated launches will include The Witcher and Grand Theft Auto 4, Microsoft said.

"Your app must not contain adult content, and metadata must be appropriate for everyone," the company originally stated. "Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB Mature, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed," the Windows Store app rules stipulated back in October.

"Windows Store apps are appropriate for a global audience."

The decision initially concerned those uneasy at Microsoft's attempts to make Windows 8's Store the de facto method of purchasing content on the new operating system.

Steam boss Gabe Newell previously labelled Windows 8 a "disaster", which lead Eurogamer to investigate whether his fears were well founded.