While the pandemic is affecting working conditions and could result in delays, the groups responsible for game ratings in the United States and Europe are still at work. Both the United State’s Entertainment Software Rating Board and the members of Europe’s Interactive Software Federation of Europe ratings board for the Pan European Game Information ratings confirmed the members responsible for ESRB and PEGI ratings are working from home. [Thanks, IGN!]
In regards to ESRB ratings, the board working from home has been the standard since March 16, 2020. Work has been done since then and ratings have been assigned, with some of the most recent ones being a “Teen” ratings for Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ for the Nintendo Switch, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, and Panzer Dragoon: Remake. The ESRB representative even told IGN, “We have seen no delay in assigning ratings. We will continue to assign ratings remotely for as long as required.”
While the people responsible for PEGI ratings didn’t provide an exact date for when working from home became the norm for the members of the board, it told IGN that the process as always involved some degree of telecommuting. When speaking to the outlet, it noted that PEGI is in Brussels, its administrators are in The Netherlands and the UK, and it has always had all of them working with publishers worldwide. As for delays, its representative told IGN, “But until now, the impact of the pandemic and the resulting measures has been minimal.”
This comes after Japan’s Consumer Entertainment Supplier Association confirmed that CERO ratings will be suspended until May 6, 2020, with no games rated in the meantime. The company claimed it wasn’t possible for the games to be rated remotely, due to equipments and needs within the office. Already, it has been noted that this delay in work would alter the release schedule for games like Hamster’s Arcade Archives line.