ESRB Reassures on Possibility of Shutdown, Game Delays

The US games rating agency, the ESRB, has played down any possibility that it will shut down during the outbreak of COVID-19, potentially delaying games waiting to receive ratings.This follows the shutdown of Japanese ratings agency, CERO until at least May 6. CERO explained that its ratings process is dependant on reviewers visiting the office and thus cannot continue operations until a country-wide lockdown is lifted. With console games requiring a CERO rating to see release in Japan, it’s led to worry about game delays in the country.

Speaking to IGN, the ESRB has quelled fears about a similar situation in the US, despite moving to a work-from-home solution in recent weeks:

“Thanks to a good deal of advance planning, since March 16 ESRB has been operating remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak”, explained an ESRB spokesperson. “We have seen no delay in assigning ratings. We will continue to assign ratings remotely for as long as required.”All console manufacturers, and most digital storefronts, require games to receive an ESRB rating to allow a US release, meaning any stoppage of ratings could see games delayed. Thankfully, it seems that won’t be a problem.

IGN has reached out to PEGI, the ESRB’s European equivalent, and the Australian Classification Board to confirm whether the same measures are being taken in those regions, and delays have been avoided.

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